Concussion Info for Parents

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What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of brain injury that changes the way the brain normally works. A concussion is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head and can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. Even what seems to be a mild bump to the head can be serious. Concussions can have a more serious effect on a young, developing brain and need to be addressed correctly. 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 or teen is acting or feeling, if symptoms are getting worse, or if s/he just “doesn’t feel right.” Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness. If your child or teen reports one or more of the symptoms of concussion listed below, or if you notice the symptoms yourself, seek medical attention right away. Children and teens are among those at greatest risk for concussion.

Signs and Symptoms

Thinking/Remembering:

  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Is confused about events
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Repeats questions
  • Can’t recall events prior to the hit, bump, or fall
  • Can’t recall events after the hit, bump, or fall
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)
  • Shows behavior or personality changes
  • Forgets class schedule or assignments
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Feeling more slowed down
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy

Physical:

  • Headache or “pressure” in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Fatigue or feeling tired
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Does not “feel right”

Emotional:

  • Irritable
  • Sad
  • More emotional than usual
  • Nervous

Sleep*:

  • Drowsy
  • Sleeps less than usual
  • Sleeps more than usual
  • Has trouble falling asleep

*Only ask about sleep symptoms if the injury occurred on a prior day.