Concussions 101


What is a Concussion:

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, stretching and damaging the brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain.

Concussions Are Serious.

Medical providers may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, the effects of a concussion can be serious.

 Signs & Symptoms:

Signs often observed by parents/coaches/teammates:

  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Confused about assignment or position
  • Forgets instructions
  • Is unsure of where they are and what they are doing
  • Shows mood, behavior or personality changes
  • Loses consciousness (even momentarily)
  • Forgets events prior to the hit or fall
  • Forgets events after the hit or fall

Symptoms often reported by athletes:

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

Important Facts to Note:

If you even slightly suspect your child has a concussion, remove them immediately from ALL physical activity until they are seen and diagnosed/cleared by a medical professional.

An athlete does not have to lose consciousness to have a concussion.  Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness.

Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up immediately after impact or may not appear until days or weeks after injury.

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.

Females are more vulnerable to concussions than males.

Concussion affect people differently, because every brain is unique. While most athletes will recover from concussion quickly and fully, some will have symptoms that could last for weeks. A more serious concussion can last for months or longer.

To learn more detailed information about concussions, we strongly recommend visiting the CDC’s Heads Up website.