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Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion


Know the Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion 

Your child just experienced a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, and the first thought that crosses your mind is if he or she may have a concussion. A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that affects how the brain functions. If you know the signs and symptoms of a concussion, you can more easily detect it and quickly begin the recovery process. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), signs and symptoms of a concussion include: 

Signs Symptoms
  • Can’t recall events prior to or after a hit or fall 
  • Appears dazed or stunned 

  • Forgets an instruction, is confused about an assignment or a position, or is unsure of the game, score, or opponent 

  • Moves clumsily 

  • Answers questions slowly 

  • Loses consciousness (even briefly) 

  • Headache or pressure in the head 
  • Nausea or vomiting 

  • Balance problems or dizziness 

  • Bother by light or noise 

  • Double or blurry vision 

  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, or foggy 

  • Confusion or concentration or memory problems 

The signs and symptoms of a concussion can show up immediately after an injury, or they can be subtle and show up hours later. If a concussion is suspected, do not allow the child to participate in any physical activities until he or she has been assessed by a healthcare professional. Concussions can result in more serious injuries if not properly cared for.  

In some instances, the child may need immediate medical attention.

According to the CDC, take your child to the hospital if the following dangerous signs and symptoms are present: 

When to Seek Emergency Medical Treatment 

One pupil is larger than the other 

Loss of consciousness

Drowsiness or inability to wake up 

Repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures (shaking or twitching) 

A headache that gets worse and does not go away

Unusual behavior, increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation

Although the recovery period is unique to every individual, most people will recover quickly after a concussion, but some people can have symptoms that last for weeks. Concussions should never be taken lightly. While some concussions may be more serious than others, there is no such thing as a mild concussion.   

To learn more about the signs and symptoms of concussion, visit the CDC HEADS UP website.