WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?
A concussion is a brain injury that:
- Is caused by a bump or blow to the head
- Can change the way your brain normally works
- Can occur during practices or games in any sport
- Can happen even if you haven’t been knocked out
- Can be serious even if you’ve just been “dinged”
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION?
- Headache or “pressure” in head
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Double or blurry vision
- Bothered by light
- Bothered by noise
- Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
- Difficulty paying attention
- Memory problems
- Does not “feel right”
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I HAVE A CONCUSSION?
Tell your coaches and your parents. Never ignore a bump or blow to the head even if you feel fine. Also, tell your coach if one of your teammates might have a concussion.
Get a medical checkup. A doctor or health care professional can tell you if you have a concussion and when you are OK to return to play.
- Give yourself time to get better. If you have had a concussion, your brain needs time to heal. While your brain is still healing, you are much more likely to have a second concussion. Second or later concussions can cause damage to your brain. It is important to rest until you get approval from a doctor or health care professional to return to play.
HOW CAN I PREVENT A CONCUSSION?
Every sport is different, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
- Follow your coach’s rules for safety and the rules of the sport.
- Practice good sportsmanship at all times.
- Use the proper sports equipment, including personal protective equipment. In order for equipment to protect you, it must be:
o The right equipment for the game, position, or activity
o Worn correctly and fit well
o Used every time you play
Remember, you can’t always see a concussion and sometimes you may not experience and/or report symptoms until hours or days after the injury. It’s better to miss one game than the whole season.
For more detailed information on concussion and traumatic brain injury, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/injury
U.S DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION