What Is a Concussion?Updated Wednesday April 6, 2016 by Robbinsville PAL Jr Ravens.
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 quickly back and forth. This fast movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging the brain cells. How Can I Help Keep My Children or Teens Safe? Sports are a great way for children and teens to stay healthy and can help them do well in school. To help lower your children’s or teens’ chances of getting a concussion or other serious brain injury, you should:
Help create a culture of safety for the team.
When appropriate for the sport or activity, teach your children or teens that they must wear a helmet to lower the chances of the most serious types of brain or head injury. However, there is no “concussion-proof” helmet. So, even with a helmet, it is important for children and teens to avoid hits to the head.
How Can I Spot a Possible Concussion?
Children and teens who show or report one or more of the signs and symptoms listed below—or simply say they just “don’t feel right” after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body—may have a concussion or other serious brain injury.
Signs Observed by Parents or Coaches
Symptoms Reported by Children and Teens
Talk with your children and teens about concussion. Tell them to report their concussion symptoms to you and their coach right away. Some children and teens think concussions aren’t serious or worry that if they report a concussion they will lose their position on the team or look weak. Be sure to remind them that it’s better to miss one game than the whole season.
To learn more, go to www.cdc.gov/HEADSUP
Concussions affect each child and teen differently. While most children and teens with a concussion feel better within a couple of weeks, some will have symptoms for months or longer. Talk with your children’s or teens’ health care provider if their concussion symptoms do not go away or if they get worse after they return to their regular activities.
What Are Some More Serious Danger Signs to Look Out For?
In rare cases, a dangerous collection of blood (hematoma) may form on the brain after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body and can squeeze the brain against the skull. Call 9-1-1 or take your child or teen to the emergency department right away if, after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, he or she has one or more of these danger signs:
What Should I Do If My Child or Teen Has a Possible Concussion?
As a parent, if you think your child or teen may have a concussion, you should:
Do not try to judge the severity of the injury yourself. Only a health care provider should assess a child or teen for a possible concussion. Concussion signs and symptoms often show up soon after the injury. But you may not know how serious the concussion is at first, and some symptoms may not show up for hours or days.
The brain needs time to heal after a concussion. A child’s or teen’s return to school and sports should be a gradual process that is carefully managed and monitored by a health care provider.
For more information and to order additional materials free-of-charge, visit:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION