What is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of brain injury that changes the way the brain normally works. A concussion is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. Even what seems to be a mild blow to the head can be serious.
What are some warning signs of a concussion? — For Immediate Attention Call 911
Signs Observed by a Parent/Guardian
- Appears dazed or stunned
- Is confused about assignment or position
- Forgets sports plays
- Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
- Moves clumsily
- Answers questions slowly
- Loses consciousness (even briefly)
- Shows behavior or personality changes
- Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall
- Can’t recall events after hit or fall
Signs Reported by the Athlete
- Headache or “pressure” in the head
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Double or blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to noise
- Feeling sluggish, hazy, or groggy
- Concentration or memory problems
- Does not "feel right"
What should you do if you think a concussion has occurred?
- Seek medical attention right away. A health care professional will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe to return to play.
- Keep your child out of play until medically cleared. Concussions take time to heal. Don’t let your child return to play until a health care professional says it’s okay. Children who return to play too soon, while the brain is still healing, risk a greater chance of having a second concussion. Second or later concussions can be very serious. They can cause permanent brain damage, affecting your child for a lifetime.
- Inform all coaches about any recent concussions. Coaches should know if your child has had a recent concussion. Your child’s coach may not know about a concussion your child received in another sport or activity unless you tell them.
- Help your child return to sports safely after a concussion. As your child’s symptoms decrease, the extra help or support can be removed gradually. Children and teens who return to activities after a concussion may need to:
- Take rest breaks as needed;
- Spend fewer hours at activities; and
- If in doubt, sit it out!
For more information on Concussions: http://www.myheadfirst.com/.