Sports Injuries & Concussions

June 26, 2018

Concussions

Concussions in sports, whether mild or serious, must all be taken seriously. Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a blow or jolt to the head or to the body, causing the brain to shake within the skull. The impact does not have to be directly to the skull; it can be to the upper body or part of the head. Concussions can affect the way the brain normally works. These changes can happen over hours or days, which explains why often the player might not seem so bad immediately after getting hit. With any type of head injury, the athlete should be removed from play and not returned that day. If a player receives another hit to the head before the brain has a chance to heal, the results can be very serious -- even resulting in death. Learn more with these tips for preventing and managing concussions.

Signs and Symptoms

Source: Centers for Disease Control

Noticed by Others Reported by Athlete
Appears dazed or stunned  Headache or “pressure” in head 
Is confused about assignment or position  Nausea or vomiting  
Forgets an instruction   Balance problems or dizziness  
Is unsure of game, score or opponent   Double or blurry vision 
Moves clumsily  Sensitivity to light 
Answers questions slowly  Sensitivity to noise 
Loses consciousness (even briefly)   Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy 
Shows mood, behavior or personality changes  Concentration or memory problems 
Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall  Confusion 
Can’t recall events after hit or fall Does not “feel right” or is “feeling down”

What to do After a Head Injury

Remove the athlete from play immediately. Do not try to diagnose on the sidelines. Inform the player's parents/guardians and seek a medical evaluations. The concussed player should not resume physical activity until cleared by a medical professional trained in head injury management.

Seek IMMEDIATE Medical Help if Your Child Displays The Following

  • Headache that gets worse, lasts for a long time or is severe
  • Confusion, extreme sleepiness or trouble waking up
  • Vomiting three or more times
  • Trouble moving or talking
  • Seizure or convulsion (arms or legs shake uncontrollably)
  • Major change in thinking or behavior

Resources

Download Sports Injury & Concussion Safety Tips PDF (English)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Sports Concussions.org 

Sports Legacy Institute

Brain Injury Association of America

Categories: Pediatrics, Categories: Public Health