What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging the brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain.
Concussions Are Serious
Medical providers may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, the effects of a concussion can be serious.
Dangerous Signs & Symptoms of a Concussion
- The student/child should be evaluated in an emergency department right away if s/he has any of the following:
One pupil larger than the other.
Drowsiness or inability to wake up.
A headache that gets worse and does not go away.
Slurred speech, weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination.
Repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures (shaking or twitching).
Unusual behavior, increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation.
Loss of consciousness (passed out/knocked out). Even a brief loss of consciousness should be taken seriously.
Return to Play
Students will have to be cleared by a medical provider before being allowed to return to physical education/athletic competition. Once a note from the provider is given to the School Nurse, the Athletic Department will implement the Return to Play protocol. This is a series of steps/tests the student must complete without becoming symptomatic in order to return to physical education (3 steps)/athletic competition (5 steps). Due to the increased risk for concussion during competitive play, the return to play protocol for interscholastic athletes is more extensive.
Please visit The CDC Brain Injury Basics webpage for more information!