In this section
Steps to recovery
Return to learn
Return to learn, or RTL, is the important process of getting an injured student back into the classroom. This is an individualized process, as it depends on the injury/symptoms, academic abilities of each patient, and school work load. As the student uses their brain, it may increase symptoms which can interfere with life and learning and may slow recovery. It is important to understand that athletes need to be symptom-free and back to normal to return to sport, however, we cannot wait for that to return students to school - we expect students to have symptoms initially with RTL.
- Some people may need to miss days of school and then gradually increase from partial days to full days.
- Class work expectations usually need to be reduced to help patients recover.
- Athletes should not return to sport until they have returned to full days of school and completing their class work without any adjustments or accommodations.
Return to play
- When all four "teams" agree that the student/athlete is 100% recovered and has been able to attend one to two full days of school without adjustments, then the medical team can approve starting the graduated return to play (RTP) protocol.
- The introduction of physical activity is the last test of the brain cells to make sure they are healed and that activity does not "flare" symptoms. This is the final and formal step towards "clearance" and the safest way to guard against a more serious injury.
- If symptoms return during the progression, stop activity immediately and call the Concussion Line at (414) 337-8000.
- Download our recommendations about returning to activity/play after a concussion.
To help ensure that we provide the best care for young athletes and families, Children's Hospital offers a special Concussion Line (from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday). We will promptly answer your questions or concerns. A licensed athletic trainer monitors and answers the Concussion Line. You can leave messages at anytime. We'll quickly return your call.
Concussion awareness wallet card
Children's Hospital provides concussion awareness information to the community. Order our free concussion awareness wallet card.
What parents need to know about Wisconsin's concussion law. Read the story on our blog.