What is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of brain injury that can occur from a blow to the head, a blow to the body that causes a jerking motion of the head and brain, or fall resulting head impact. A concussion is a serious event requiring medical attention. Signs and symptoms of a concussion may present immediately following a head injury, or days or even weeks after initial injury.
Signs of a Concussion
- Loss of consciousness: A loss of consciousness is not required for a concussion diagnosis. However, if a child loses consciousness, they should be removed from sport until cleared to return by a physician.
- Confusion: A child may appear dazed, be confused about his/her position, or be unsure of the score.
- Changes in memory: A child may forget events that happened directly preceding the incident, or may forget events that happened directly after.
- Reported changes in vision: A child may report double vision, sensitivity to light, or blurry vision.
- Balance problems: A child may report balance issues or dizziness; a parent or coach may observe an increase in clumsiness or falls
- Changes in activity level: A child may report feeling sluggish or groggy; he/she may also report “not feeling right.”
Warning Signs of Emergent Injury
- One pupil is larger than the other
- Cannot recognize familiar faces
- Child cannon be awakened
- Unusual behavior
- Worsening headache
- Loses consciousness
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Weakness or numbness
- Slurred speech
- Becomes increasingly confused or agitated
If you see one or more of these signs, dial 9-1-1 or take the child to the emergency room immediately!
If you feel your child has had a concussion, it is recommended that they are cleared by a physician prior to return to sport. A physical therapist can help treat post-concussion symptoms, such as neck pain, balance deficits, and vision/vestibular issues. Please contact North Shore Pediatric Therapy for a return-to-sport physical therapy evaluation.
 “Heads Up, Concussion in Youth Sports.” CDC. Center for Disease Control, n.d. Web.