WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?
A concussion is a brain injury. Concussions are caused by a bump or blow to the head. Even a “ding”, “getting your bell rung” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. You cannot see a concussion. Signs and symptoms of a concussion can show up right after the injury or may be noticeable until days or weeks after the injury. If your child reports any symptoms of a concussion or if you notice the symptoms yourself, seek medical attention right away.
SIGNS OBSERVED BY PARENTS/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 and symptoms 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 ATHLETES
- Headache or “pressure” in head
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems or dizziness
- 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 PREVENT A CONCUSSION?
Every sport is different, but there are steps your child can take to protect themselves from a concussion:
- Ensure that they follow their coaches rules for safety and the rules of the sport.
- Make sure your child wears 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 worn consistently and correctly.
- Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU THINK YOUR CHILD HAS A CONCUSSION?
- Seek medical attention right away. A health care professional will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for your child to return to sports.
- 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 OK. Children, who return to play too soon, while the brain is still healing, risk a greater chance of having a second concussion. Additional concussions can be very serious. They can cause permanent brain damage, affecting your child for a lifetime