• Concussions

     
    A concussion is a brain injury and all brain injuries are serious. Concussions are often caused by an impact to the head, or to another part of the body, with the force transmitted to the head. Concussions disrupt the way the brain normally works, and vary greatly in severity. Even though most concussions are mild, all concussions are potentially serious and may result in complications including prolonged brain damage and death if not recognized and managed properly. You can’t see a concussion, and most sports concussions occur without loss of consciousness. Signs and symptoms may show up right away, or can take hours or days to fully appear. Seek medical attention immediately if you suspect your child has suffered a concussion.
     
     Signs observed by teammates, parents, or coaches may include that the athlete:
    • Appears dazed or confused.
    • Confused about assignment.
    • Has slurred speech.
    • Loss of consciousness.
    • Has seizures of convulsions.
    • Shows behavior or personality changes.
    • Answers questions slowly or can't answer.
    • Can't recall events from before or after the injury.
    • Is unsure of events of game, score, opponent
    • Has a vacant facial expression ("blank stare")
    Symptoms may include one or more of the following:
    • Headaches
    • Nervousness or anxiety
    • Concentration problems
    • Memory problems
    • Confusion
    • Repeats same questions and comments
    • Mood/emotional changes
    • Sadness
    • Fatigue
    • Changes in sleep patterns
    • Feels foggy or groggy
    • Sensitive to light or noise
    • Drowsiness
    • Amnesia
    • Feels sluggish or slowed down
    • Balance problems or dizziness
    • Neck pain
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Clear fluid from ears
    What happens if my child keeps playing with a concussion or returns too soon?
     
    Athletes with signs/symptoms of a concussion should be removed from play immediately. Continuing to play while experiencing signs or symptoms of a concussion leaves the athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury. There is increased risk of significant brain damage from a concussion for a period of time after that concussion occurs, particularly if the athlete suffers another concussion before completely recovering from the first one. This can lead to prolonged recovery, or even to severe brain swelling (“second impact syndrome”) with devastating and even fatal consequences. It is well known that teenage athletes will often underreport symptoms of injuries – concussions are no different. We urge parents to be especially vigilant and watchful, as they know their child best, and are best able to notice changes in the child that may result from a concussion. All suspected concussions should be reported to the Certified Athletic Trainer as soon as possible. Baseline testing is offered to every student-athlete who participates in a school sponsored sport. Post-concussion testing is administered after symptoms have resolved and before the athlete’s follow-up appointment with a licensed physician. The post-concussion results can then be used in conjunction with the baseline score to help the licensed physician in their assessment, treatment, and return to play criteria.
     
    If you think your child has suffered a concussion:
    If you notice signs or symptoms of a concussion in your child, seek immediate medical attention right away from a certified athletic trainer, licensed physician trained in the evaluation and management of concussions, or your hospital’s Emergency Department. Any athlete suspected of suffering a concussion must be removed from the game or practice immediately, and may not return until the athlete is evaluated (and cleared in writing) by a licensed physician trained in the evaluation and management of concussions. Besides managing your child’s concussion and return to play, the Certified Athletic Trainers will also help coordinate with your child’s coaches, academic counselor and teachers.