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Need seen for Ill. school protocols on concussions

Published: Friday, April 11, 2014 11:47 a.m. CST

CHICAGO — A survey of school nurses suggests most Illinois schools don't have protocols for when to allow students who've suffered concussions back into the classroom.

Researchers at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago reported their findings at a recent sports medicine conference.

Dr. Cynthia LaBella leads the sports medicine institute at Lurie Children's. She says Illinois law requires student athletes to be cleared by a health professional before returning to sports. LaBella says it's time to educate schools that students with concussions also need cognitive rest for recovery.

Time off, shorter school days or reduced homework may be required for students until concussion symptoms ease.

The survey suggests more than half of Illinois schools have return-to-sports protocols, but less than one-third have guidance for returning students to class after a concussion.

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