A concussion is a brain injury and all brain injuries are serious. They are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or by a blow to another part of the body with the force transmitted to the head. They can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works. Even though most concussions are mild, all concussions are potentially serious and may result in complications including prolonged brain damage and death if not recognized and managed properly.  In other words, even a ding or a bump on the head can be serious.  You cant see a concussion and most sports concussions occur without loss of consciousness. Signs and symptoms of concussion may show up right after the injury or can take hours or days to fully appear. If your child reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms or signs of concussion yourself, seek medical attention right away.



Symptoms may include one or more of the following:


      Pressure in head

      Nausea or vomiting

      Neck pain

      Balance problems or dizziness

      Blurred, double, or fuzzy vision

      Sensitivity to light or noise

      Feeling sluggish or slowed down

      Feeling foggy or groggy


      Change in sleep patterns


      Dont feel right

      Fatigue or low energy


      Nervousness or anxiety


      More emotional


      Concentration or memory problems (forgetting game plays)

      Repeating the same question/comment



Signs observed by teammates, parents and coaches include:

      Appears dazed

      Vacant facial expression

      Confused about assignment

      Forgets plays

      Is unsure of game, score, or opponent

      Moves clumsily or displays incoordination

      Answers questions slowly

      Slurred speech

      Shows behavior or personality changes

      Cant recall events prior to hit

      Cant recall events after hit

      Seizures or convulsions

      Any change in typical behavior or personality

      Loses consciousness

What can happen if my child keeps on playing with a concussion or returns to soon?


Athletes with the signs and symptoms of concussion should be removed from play immediately. Continuing to play with the signs and symptoms of a concussion leaves the young athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury. There is an increased risk of significant damage from a concussion for a period of time after that concussion occurs, particularly if the athlete suffers another concussion before completely recovering from the first one. This can lead to prolonged recovery, or even to severe brain swelling (second impact syndrome) with devastating and even fatal consequences.  It is well known that adolescent or teenage athlete will often under report symptoms of injuries. And concussions are no different. As a result, education of administrators, coaches, parents and students is the key for student-athletes safety.


If you think your child has suffered a concussion


Any athlete even suspected of suffering a concussion should be removed from the game or practice immediately. No athlete may return to activity after an apparent head injury or concussion, regardless of how mild it seems or how quickly symptoms clear, without medical clearance. Close observation of the athlete should continue for several hours. The new Zackery Lystedt Law in Washington now requires the consistent and uniform implementation of long and well-established return to play concussion guidelines that have been recommended for several years:


a youth athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time




may not return to play until the athlete is evaluated by a licensed heath care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussion and received written clearance to return to play from that health care provider.


You should also inform your childs coach if you think that your child may have a concussion Remember its better to miss one game than miss the whole season. And when in doubt, the athlete sits out.


For current and up-to-date information on concussions you can go to: http://www.cdc.gov/ConcussionInYouthSports/



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