A concussion is a brain injury. Concussions are caused by a bump,
blow, or jolt to the head or body. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell
rung,” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can
What are the signs and symptoms of a
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 after the injury. If your child reports one or more symptoms
of concussion listed below, or if you notice the symptoms yourself,
keep your child out of play and seek medical attention right away.
What should you do if you think your
child has a concussion?
• Keep your child out of play. If your child has a concussion,
her/his brain needs time to heal. Don’t let your child return to
play the day of the injury and until a health care professional,
experienced in evaluating for concussion, says your child is
symptom-free and it’s OK to return to play. A repeat concussion
that occurs before the brain recovers from the first—usually within
a short period of time (hours, days, or weeks)—can slow recovery
or increase the likelihood of having long-term problems. In rare
cases, repeat concussions can result in edema (brain swelling),
permanent brain damage, and even death.
• Seek medical attention right away. A health care
professional experienced in evaluating for concussion will be able
to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for your
child to return to sports.
• Teach your child that it’s not smart to play with a
concussion. Rest is key after a concussion. Sometimes athletes
wrongly believe that it shows strength and courage to play injured.
Discourage others from pressuring injured athletes to play. Don’t let
your child convince you that s/he’s “just fine.”
• Tell all of your child’s coaches and the student’s school
nurse about ANY concussion. Coaches, school nurses, and
other school staff should know if your child has ever had a
concussion. Your child may need to limit activities while s/he is
recovering from a concussion. Things such as studying, driving,
working on a computer, playing video games, or exercising may
cause concussion symptoms to reappear or get worse. Talk to your
health care professional, as well as your child’s coaches, school
nurse, and teachers. If needed, they can help adjust your child’s
school activities during her/his recovery.
How can you help your child prevent a
Here are steps your children can take to protect themselves from
concussion and other injuries.
• Make sure they wear the right protective equipment for
their activity. It should fit properly, be well maintained, and be
worn consistently and correctly.
• Ensure that they follow their coaches’ rules for safety
and the rules of the sport.
• Encourage them to practice good sportsmanship at all times.
If you think your child has a concussion: Don’t assess it yourself.
Take him/her out of play. Seek the advice of a health care professional.
It’s better to miss one game than the whole season.
For more information and safety resources, visit: www.cdc.gov/Concussion and www.uslacrosse.org/safety
Signs Observed by Parents
• Appears dazed or stunned
• Is confused about assignment or position
• Forgets an 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
Symptoms Reported by
• Headache or “pressure” in head
• Nausea or vomiting
• Balance problems or dizziness
• Double or blurry vision
• Sensitivity to light or noise
• Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
• Concentration or memory problems
• Just not “feeling right” or is “feeling down”