Concussion Information

Concussions Are Serious Business

Concussions are a type of injury caused by a blow or bump to the head that disrupts the way the cells in the brain normally work. They are one of the most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreation activities. Most sports-and recreation-related concussions seen in emergency departments each year (65%) occur among youth ages 5–18.  While many of these injuries may be considered mild, they can result in health consequences such as impaired thinking, memory problems, and emotional or behavioral changes.

More than 38 million boys and girls, ages 5–18, participate in organized youth sports in the United States. Although sports provide physical activity that offers important exercise and team building opportunities to young people, there is also a risk of getting injured. Concussions can occur in any organized or unorganized sport or recreational activity; however, the risk is greatest in athletic environments where collisions are common.


What is a concussion?

A concussions is a brain injury that:

  • Is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body.
  • Can change the way your brain normally works.
  • Can occur during practices or games in any sport or recreational activity.
  • Can happen even if you haven’t been knocked out.
  • Can be serious even if you’ve just been “dinged” or “had your bell rung.”

All concussions are serious. A concussion can affectyour ability to do schoolwork and other activities (suchas playing video games, working on a computer,studying, driving, or exercising). Most people with a concussion get better, but it is important to give your brain time to heal.

Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

Signs & Symptoms Observed by a Coach or Parent

  • 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 mood, behavior, or personality changes
  • Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall
  • Can’t recall events after hit or fall

Signs & Symptoms Observed by Students

  • Headache or “pressure” in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Just not “feeling right” or is “feeling down”

What should I do if I think I have a concussion?

  • Tell your coaches, certified athletic trainer and your parents. Never ignore abump or blow to the head even if you feel fine.
    Also,tell your coach right away if you think you have aconcussion or if one of your teammates might have aconcussion.
  • Get a medical check-up. A doctor or other healthcare professional can tell if you have a concussionand when it is OK to return to play.
  • Give yourself time to get better. If you have a concussion, your brain needs time to heal. While yourbrain is still healing,
    you are much more likely to haveanother concussion. Repeat concussions can increase the time it takes for you to recover
    and may causemore damage to your brain. It is important to rest and not return to play until you get the OK from yourhealth
    care professional that you are symptom-free.

Athlete Fact Sheet (Additional Information)
Parent Fact Sheet (Additional Information)
Coaches Fact Sheet (Additional Information)


Test Your Concussion Knowledge
Mark each of the following statements as True (T) or False (F)

  1. A concussion is a brain injury.
  2. Concussions can occur in any organized or unorganized recreational sport or activity.
  3. You can’t see a concussion and some athletes may not experience and/or report symptoms until hours or days after the injury.
  4. Following a coach’s rules for safety and the rules of the sport, practicing good sportsmanship at all times, and using the proper sports equipment are all ways that athletes can prevent a concussion.
  5. Concussions can be caused by a fall or by a bump or blow to the head or body.
  6. Concussion can happen even if the athlete hasn’t been knocked out or lost consciousness.
  7. Nausea, headaches, sensitivity to light or noise, and difficulty concentrating are some of the symptoms of a concussion
  8. Athletes who have a concussion should not return to play until they are symptom-free and have received approval from a doctor or health care professional.
  9. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the first can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long-term problems.