What is a Concussion?

A concussion is an injury to the brain caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that can change the way the brain normally functions.

Most concussions occur during practice or games in any sport, as well as from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth within the skull. Most concussions do not result in a loss of consciousness, and most people recover within a few days to weeks.

However, concussions are complex injuries that can have both short- and long-term effects that can impair many aspects of a person’s health – physical, neurological, cognitive and psychological.

Each case of a suspected or known concussion should be evaluated by an experienced multidisciplinary team to effectively diagnose, treat and manage the injury, and advise on when it is safe to return to playing or learning.

What are the signs and symptoms of a concussion?

You can’t see a concussion. Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after an injury, or may not appear or be noticed until hours or days after the injury.

It is important to watch for changes in how your child is acting or feeling, if symptoms are getting worse, or if he or she just “doesn’t feel right.” If your child or teen reports one or more of the symptoms of concussion listed below, or if you notice the symptoms yourself, seek the advice of a healthcare provider knowledgeable in concussion management.

Children and teens are among those at greatest risk for concussion.

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