A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that changes the way the brain normally works. A concussion is caused by bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF 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 an athlete reports one or more symptoms of concussion listed below after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, s/he should be kept out of play the day of the injury and until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for concussion, says s/he is symptom-free and it’s OK to return to
Did You Know?
Young children and teens are more likely toget a concussion and take longer to recover than adults.
SIGNS OBSERVED BY COACHING STAFF
SYMPTOMS REPORTED BY ATHLETES
•Appears dazed or stunned
•Is confused about assignment or position •Headache or “pressure” in head
•Forgets an instruction •Balance problems or dizziness
•Is unsure of game, score, or opponent •Nausea or vomiting
•Moves clumsily Sensitivity to light •Double or blurry vision
•Answers questions slowly •Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
•Loses consciousness (even briefly) •Sensitivity to noise
•Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes •Concentration or memory problems
•Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall Confusion •feeling right” or “feeling down”
•Can’t recall events after hit or fall Just not “
In rare cases, a dangerous blood clot may form on the brain in a person with a concussion and crowd the brain against the skull. An athlete should receive immediate medical attention if after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body s/he exhibits any of the following danger signs:
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU THINK YOUR ATHLETE HAS A CONCUSSION?
If you suspect that an athlete has a concussion, remove the athlete from play and seek medical attention. Do not try to judge the severity of the injury yourself. Keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury and until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for concussion, says s/he is symptom-free and it’s OK to return to play. Rest is key to helping an athlete recover from a concussion. Exercising or activities that involve a lot of concentration, such as studying, working on the computer, or playing video games, may cause concussion symptoms to reappear or get worse. After a concussion, returning to sports and school is a gradual process that should be carefully managed and monitored by a health care professional.