A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Concussions can occur in any sport or recreation activity. A concussion can have long term impacts on young athletes such as their health, memory, learning and even their survival. All participants in youth sports - coaches, parents and athletes - should be aware of the signs and dangers a concussion can pose.
What are the signs of a concussion?
The following are a list of symptoms that may suggest a concussion has occurred.
What Should You Do If You Think a Concussion Has Occurred?
- Seek medical attention right away - A health care professional will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe to return to play.
- Do not return to play until medically cleared - Concussions take time to heal. Don't return to play until a health care professional says it's OK. Children who return to play too soon while their brain is still healing risk a greater chance of having a second concussion. Second or later concussions can be very serious. They can cause permanent brain damage, affecting the injured student-athlete for a lifetime.
- Inform all coaches about any recent concussions - Coaches should know if an athlete has had a recent concussion. The coach may not know about a concussion in another sport or activity if he or she is not informed by the parent, guardian or athlete.