Concussion In High School Sports ~ A Fact Sheet For Parents

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury. Concussions are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. They can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works. Even a “ding” or a bump on the head can be serious.  Any student who has signs or symptoms of a concussion will be removed from the athletic contest and cannot resume participation until cleared by the school or personal physician.  There are no exceptions.

What are the signs and symptoms?

You can’t see a concussion. Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after the injury or can take days or weeks to appear. If your teen reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms yourself, seek medical attention right away.

Signs Observed

by Parents or Guardians

Symptoms Reported

by Athlete

Appears dazed or stunned Headache
Is confused about assignment Nausea
Forgets plays Balance problems or dizziness
Is unsure of game, score, or opponent Double or fuzzy vision
Moves clumsily Sensitivity to light or noise
Answers questions slowly Feeling sluggish
Loses consciousness Feeling foggy or groggy
Shows behavior or personality changes Concentration or memory problems
Can’t recall events prior to hit Confusion
Can’t recall events after hit

What should you do if you think your teenage athlete 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 child to return to sports.
  • Keep your child out of play.  Concussions take time to heal.  Don’t let your child return to play until a health care professional says it’s OK. The basic rule after a concussion is diagnosed, is 7 to 10 days out of competition. Athletes 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 child for a lifetime.
  • Tell all of your child’s coaches about any recent concussion. Coaches should know if your child had a recent concussion in ANY sport. Your child’s coaches should review the team member’s medical information with the school nurse.
  • Post-concussive syndrome symptoms signs can appear within two, or three days after the initial head trauma. Even though the student may feel fine on the day of the trauma, symptoms can show within a few days.  If so, consult a physician immediately.
  • Remind your student:  It’s better to miss one game than the whole season.