Kids (4-12)

7 Things You Need to Know about Concussions

Concussions are brain injuries.  That’s the first thing to know about them.  Here are 7 other things you need to know to keep your children healthy and safe.

1. You May Have a Concussion without Losing Consciousness. The confusion that follows a concussion can occur with or without loss of consciousness.  Most sports related concussions occur without loss of consciousness and often go unrecognized.  After a head injury, sit out for a little bit just in case it is a concussion.

2. Symptoms of a Concussion. Symptoms of concussions include the following: confusion, headache, dizziness, ringing in the ears, nausea, slurred speech, and fatigue.  Aside from slurred speech, none of these symptoms look to scary on their own and they are even expected after a hard hit to the head.  It is important to watch for a combination of these symptoms and see if they linger.  Amnesia is a symptom that is present in more serious concussions.

3. Late Developing Symptoms. Aside from the symptoms listed above, there are several others that may set in later on.  These symptoms include: irritability, memory problems and even depression. It is important to take a break from activity and allow your brain to heal.

4. It Takes Time for the Brain to Heal. Following a concussion, it is crucial to let your brain rest and give it time to heal in order to prevent lasting damage.  Both physical and mental exertion need to be limited until symptoms have resolved. Activities such as schoolwork, playing video games, and even watching TV can make symptoms worse.

5. When to See a Doctor. If symptoms persist consult a doctor.   If you’re having trouble remembering since the concussion, visit you doctor right away.  However, a brain scan will not show a concussion, but come back normal.  Some states are now requiring a doctor’s release for athletes to play again after getting a concussion.

6. Those at Risk. The two sports with the most concussions are football and ice hockey.  Non-organized physical activities with large numbers of concussions include: snow skiing, bicycling, and playground injuries.  Also, research has shown that girls have a higher rate of concussions, but the reason why is unclear.

7. Take Brain Injuries Seriously. If the brain does not heal properly, if the concussion is too severe, or if multiple concussions occur, there can be serious consequences.  Victims may experience epilepsy, vertigo, personality changes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and even death.  Brain injuries should not be handled lightly.


A physician at the University of North Carolina has teamed with other head-trauma researchers to develop an app (application) for mobile devices that helps determine whether someone may have suffered a concussion. The AP reports that Jason Mihalik of UNC’s brain injury research center joined Justin Smith of Psychological Assessment Resources Inc. and the Children’s National Medical Center in developing the” application.

“After the user answers a series of questions, the app determines the likelihood of a concussion and can email information to a doctor.”

Medical information within this site is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of any health condition. Please consult a licensed health care professional for the treatment or diagnosis of any medical condition.

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