The Facts about Concussions
Concussions Are Serious
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.
signs and symptoms
Children and teens who show or report one or more of the signs and symptoms listed below, or simply say they just “don't feel right” after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, may have a concussion or more serious brain injury.
Rest is very important after a concussion because it helps the brain heal. After a concussion, physical and cognitive activities—such as concentration and learning—should be carefully watched by a medical provider. As the days go by, your child or teen can expect to slowly feel better.
Signs & Symptoms
Signs and symptoms generally show up soon after the injury. However, you may not know how serious the injury is at first and some symptoms may not show up for hours or days. For example, in the first few minutes your child or teen might be a little confused or a bit dazed, but an hour later your child might not be able to remember how he or she got hurt.
You should continue to check for signs of concussion right after the injury and a few days after the injury. If your child or teen’s concussion signs or symptoms get worse, you should take him or her to the emergency department right away. Here are some common signs and symptoms of a concussion:
Sensitivity to Light/Noise
Feeling Mentally Foggy
Feeling Slowed Down
Sleeping More than Usual
Sleeping Less than Usual
Trouble Falling Asleep
Rest is Key
- Maintain a regular schedule.
- Avoid high-risk activities that can result in another concussion until their medical provider clears them to return to play.
- Share information about the concussion with friends, family, coaches, teachers, etc.
Return to Activities Slowly
- Once cleared to return to play, reintroduce normal activities slowly, not all at once.
- Establish a plan with your medical professional for return to school, work and sports. As your student-athlete returns to school, he/she may need to request temporary accommodations as their brain continues to heal.
- Request clearance from your child's medical provider to return to driving a car/riding a bike.
Talk to a Medical Provider
- If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to talk to your medical provider.