A concussion is a brain injury. Concussions are caused by a blow to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. You can’t see a concussion. Signs and symptoms of a concussion can show up right after the injury or may not appear or be noticed until days or weeks after the injury. If your child reports any symptoms of a concussion, or if you notice the signs yourself, seek medical attention right away.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Concussion?
Signs Observed by Parents or Guardians
If your child has experienced a bump or blow to the head during a game or practice, look for any of the following signs of a concussion:
• Appears dazed or stunned
• Is confused about assignment or position
• Forgets an instruction
• 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
Symptoms Reported by Athlete
• Headache or “pressure” in head
• Nausea or vomiting
• Balance problems or dizziness
• Double or blurry vision
• Sensitivity to light
• Sensitivity to noise
• Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy
• Concentration or memory problems
• Does not “feel right”
How Can You Help Your Athlete Prevent A Concussion?
Every sport is different, but there are steps your athlete can take to protect themselves from concussion and other injuries.
• Make sure they wear the right protective equipment for their activity. It should fit properly, be well maintained, and be worn consistently and correctly.
• Ensure that they follow their coaches’ rules for safety and the rules of the sport.
• Encourage them to practice good sportsmanship at all times.
What Should You Do If You Think Your Athlete Has A Concussion?
1. Stop play or practice.
Your athlete should be immediately removed from play or practice. Notify coach immediately.
2. Seek medical attention right away.
A doctor or other healthcare professional can tell if you have a concussion and when it is OK to return to play.
3. Give yourself time to get better.
If you have a concussion, your brain needs time to heal. It is important to rest and not return to play until you get the OK from your health care professional that you are symptom-free.
4. Tell coaches and school nurse about ANY concussions.
Coaches, school nurses, and other school staff should know if your athlete has ever had a concussion. Your athlete may need to limit activities while they are recovering from a concussion.