WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?
A concussion is a brain injury. Concussions are caused by a bump or blow to the head. Even a "ding," "getting your bell rung," or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.
You can't see a concussion. Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after the injury or may not appear or be noticed until days or weeks after the injury. If your student reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms yourself, seek medical attention right away.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION?
Signs observed by Parents or Guardians
If your student has experienced a bump or blow to the head, look for any of the following signs and symptoms of a concussion:
- appears dazed or stunned
- is confused about assignment or position
- forgets an instruction
- moves clumsily
- answers questions slowly
- loses consciousness (even briefly)
- shows behavior or personality changes
- can't recall events prior to hit or fall
Symptoms reported by student
- headache or "pressure" in head
- nausea or vomiting
- balance problems or dizziness
- double or blurry vision
- sensitivity to light
- sensitivity to noise
- feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy
- concentration or memory problems
- does not "feel right"
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR CHILD PREVENT A CONCUSSION?
There are steps your students can take to protect themselves from concussion.
- Ensure that they follow rules for safety.
- Encourage them to practice good sportsmanship at all times.
- Make sure they wear the right protective equipment for their activity (such as helmets, padding, shin guards, and eye and mouth guards). Protective equipment should fit properly, be well maintained, and be worn consistently and correctly.
- Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU THINK YOUR CHILD HAS A CONCUSSION?
- Seek medical attention right away. A health care professional will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for your student to return to full activity.
- Keep your student out of play. Concussions take time to heal. Don't let your student return to play until a health care professional says it's OK. Students who return to play too soon - while the 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 your student for a lifetime.
- Report any recent concussion. Doctors should know if your student had a recent concussion. Tell the school nurse about any history of concussion.