A concussion is a disturbance in brain function that occurs after an impact to either the head or the body that causes violent shaking of the brain. 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 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 concussion, or if you notice the symptoms yourself, seek medical attention right away.
What are the signs and symptoms of a Concussion?
Signs Observed by Parents, Guardians, or Coaches
- 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 child avoid a concussion or help if a concussion occurs?
- Ensure that they follow their coach’s rules for safety and the rules of the sport.
- Encourage them to practice good sportsmanship at all times.
- Make sure they wear the right protective equipment for their activity (such as helmets, padding, shin guards, and eye and mouth guards). Protective equipment should fit properly, be well maintained, and be worn consistently and correctly.
- Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
- Teach your children the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
- Instruct your children not to continue playing if they think they have any signs or symptoms of a concussion.
What should you do if you think you child has a concussion?
Seek medical attention right away if your child experiences:
- Loss of consciousness
- Repeated vomiting
- Seizure (convulsion)
- Headache that gets worse over time
- Changes in your child’s behavior, including irritability or difficulty waking
- Changes in your child’s physical coordination including stumbling or clumsiness
- Slurred speech
- Lasting or recurrent dizziness
- Blood or fluid discharge from the nose or ears
- A cut that won’t stop bleeding after you’ve applied pressure for 10 minutes
Keep your child out of play. Concussions take time to heal. Don’t let your child return to play until a health care professional says it’s 0K. 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.
Call our office for evaluation. The center will see your child within 48-72 hours of their injury for evaluation and management.
Tell your child’s coach about any recent concussion. Coaches should know if your child had a recent concussion in ANY sport. Your child’s coach may not know about a concussion your child received in another sport or activity unless you tell the coach.