Signs and symptoms of concussion

June 8, 2009
There are many different symptoms reported by athletes who suffer concussions, and in some cases they may not be easily detected for hours or days after the injury. However, look for clues immediately and make sure athletes are re-evaluated every few minutes over several hours. At home, parents should watch for the following symptoms as well as complaints that lights are too bright, noises are too loud, or your child has difficulty concentrating while watching TV or playing video games. Any of the following are indicative of concussion:

Appears dazed or stunned Headache or "pressure" in head
Is confused about assignment or position Nausea or vomiting
Forgets an instruction Balance problems or dizziness
Is unsure of game, score, or opponent Double or blurry vision
Moves clumsily Sensitivity to light
Answers questions slowly Sensitivity to noise
Loses consciousness (even briefly) Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes Concentration or memory problems
Can't recall events prior to hit or fall Confusion
Can't recall events after hit or fall Does not "feel right" or is "feeling down"
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Concussion Experts: For Kids- No Sports, No Schoolwork, No Text Messages

Some signs and symptoms can be subtle. Encourage athletes to report any of the above, and do not allow them to participate in a game or practice until a qualified medical professional has given the OK and they are 100% symptom-free both at rest and during a gradual return-to-play procedure.