What is a Concussion?
A concussion 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."
What are the symptoms of a concussion?
You can't see a concussion, but you might notice one or more of the symptoms listed below or that you "don't feel right" soon after, a few days after, or even weeks after the injury.
- Headache or "pressure" in head
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance or blurry vision
- Bothered by light or noise
- Feeling sluggish, hazy foggy or groggy
- Difficulty paying attention
- Memory problems
What Should I do if I think I have a concussion?
- Tell your coaches, athletic trainers and parents. Never ignore a bump or blow to the head even if you feel fine. Also, tell your coach right away if you think you have a concussion or if one of your teammates might have a concussion.
- Get a medical check-up. A doctor or other health care professional can tell if you have a concussion and 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 your brain is still healing, you are much more likely to have another concussion. Repeat concussions can increase the time it takes for you to recover and may cause more damage to your brain (second impact syndrome). It is important to rest and not return to play until you get the ok from your healthcare professional that you are symptom-free.
It's better to miss one game than the whole season.
A concussion is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Most concussions occur without a loss of consciousness and according to the CDC, a lack of proper diagnosis and management of concussion may result in a serious long-term consequences, or risk of coma or death. Signs and symptoms may be noticeable immediately, or it may take days or weeks before they are present.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 3.8 million sports- and recreation-related concussions occur in the United State each year. Of that estimate U.S. emergency departments treat approximately 135,000 sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions, among children ages 5 to 18.