HEADS UP: Concussion in Sports!
What is a concussion? A concussion is a brain injury. Concussions are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body. Even a “ding”, “getting your bell run”, or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. What parents/guardians should do if they think their child has a concussion?
1. OBEY THE NEW LAW (for high school sports). Keep your child out of participation until s/he is cleared to return by a licensed healthcare provider. Seek medical attention right away.
2. Teach your child that it’s not smart to play with a concussion.
3. Tell all of your child’s coaches and the student’s school nurse about ANY concussion.
STUDENTS—if you think you have a concussion: Tell your coaches and parents—never ignore a bump or blow to the head, even if you feel fine. Also, tell your coach if you think one of your teammates might have a concussion. Get a medical checkup—a physician or other licensed health care provider can tell you if you have a concussion, and when it is OK to return to play. Give yourself time to heal—if you have a concussion, your brain needs time to heal. While your brain is healing, you are much more likely to have another concussion. It is important to rest and not return to play until you get the OK from your health care professional.
What are signs/symptoms of a concussion? You cannot see a concussion. Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after the injury or may not appear to be noticed until days after the injury. If your teen reports one or more symptoms of concussion listed below, or if you notice the symptoms yourself, keep your teen out of play and seek medical attention right away.
Signs reported by students:
- Headache or “pressure” in head
- Nausea or vomitting
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Double or blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
- Concentration or memory problems
- Just not “feeling right” or is “feeling down”
PARENTS—HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR CHILD PREVENT A CONCUSSION?
Every sport is different, but there are steps your children can take to protect themselves from concussion/injuries:
- Make sure they wear the right protective equipment for their activity. It should fit properly, be well maintained, and be worn consistently and correctly.
- Ensure that they follow their coaches’ rules for safety & the rules of the sport.
- Encourage them to practice good sportsmanship at all times.
Signs observed by Parents or Guardians:
- 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
Information on concussions provided by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. For more information visit www.cdc.gov/Concussion