Be Concussion Smart

Protect your sports superstars this fall.

A concussion is a brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Those who suffer concussions often report trouble focusing, short-term memory loss, difficulty performing daily tasks, and feeling “slower overall. A quick crack on the noggin can make a lasting impact, so it’s important to take concussion prevention seriously.

Symptoms of concussion as reported by athletes: Concussion smart

  • Headache or “pressure” in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Just not “feeling right” or “feeling down”

Signs of concussion observed by coach or caregiver:

  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Is confused about assignment or position
  • Forgets instruction
  • Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)
  • Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes
  • Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall
  • Can’t recall events after hit or fall

Concussion Danger Signs

In rare cases, a dangerous blood clot may form on the brain in a person with a concussion and crowd against the skull. An athlete needs to receive immediate medical attention after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body if s/he exhibits any of the following danger signs:

  • One pupil is larger than the other
  • Is drowsy or cannot be awakened
  • A headache that gets worse
  • Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Cannot recognize people or places
  • Becomes increasingly confused, restless, or agitated
  • Has unusual behavior
  • Loses consciousness (even a brief loss of consciousness should be taken seriously)

Concussion Prevention Tips:

  • Make sure athletes follow the coach’s and sport’s rules for safety.
  • Children should always wear the right protective equipment for the activity.
  • Protective equipment should fit properly and be well maintained.
  • Encourage your athletes to practice good sportsmanship at all times.
  • Emphasize the importance of reporting concussions and taking time to recover from one.

Did You Know?

  • Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness.
  • Athletes who have, at any point in their lives, had a concussion have an increased risk for another concussion.
  • Young children and teens are more likely to get a concussion and take longer to recover than adults.

By being aware of the risks, symptoms, and how to avoid concussions; your athletes can have a safe and fun season. Wishing all our athletes a fun and successful season!