Concussion Information


Concussion Information Sheet

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 can’t 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 a concussion yourself, seek medical attention right away.

Symptoms may include one or more of the following

  • Headaches
  • “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
  • Drowsiness
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Amnesia
  • “Don’t feel right”
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Sadness
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Irritability
  • More Emotional
  • Confusion
  • 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 insure of game, score, or opponent
  • Moves clumsily or displays incoordination
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Slurred Speech
  • Shows behavior or personality changes
  • Can’t recall events prior to hit
  • Can’t recall events after hit
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Any change in typical behavior or personality
  • Loses consciousness 

If you think your child has suffered a concussion

Any athlete who has suffered any injury to or around the head should be removed from the game/practice and evaluated by a licensed medical provider.  Upon examination if a head/neck injury or concussion is suspected, regardless of how mild, or how quickly symptoms clear, the child may not return to practice/game without medical clearance.  Close observation of the athlete should continue for several hours. 

“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 child is evaluated by a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussions and receives written clearance to return to play from that health care provider”.

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

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

Children with the signs and symptoms of concussion must be removed from play immediately.  Continuing to play with 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 athletes will often under report symptoms of injuries, and concussions are no different.  As a result, education of administrators, coaches, parents and young athletes is the key to safety.

For current and up-to-date information on concussions you can go to



Adapted from the CDC and the 3rd International Conference on Concussion in Sport

Document created 6/15/2009; adapted 1/13/2010