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 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 Players 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 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
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 PREVENT A CONCUSSION?
Every sport is different, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself from concussion.
Ensure that you follow your coach’s rules for safety and the rules of the sport.
Practice good sportsmanship at all times.
Always wear the right protective equipment you are issued (such as helmets, padding, 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.
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.
Do not return your child 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. Second or later concussions can be very serious. They can cause permanent brain damage, affecting your child for a lifetime.
Please tell your Coach about any recent concussion. Coaches should know if your child had a recent concussion in ANY sport. Your coach may not know about a concussion your child received in another sport or activity unless you tell the coach.