Concussion Awareness

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. Concussions 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 blow to the head can be serious.

What are some warning signs of a concussion?

For Immediate Attention call 911

Signs Observed by a Parent/Guardian

  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Is confused about assignment or position
  • Forgets sports plays
  • Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
  • Move clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)
  • Shows behavior or personality changes
  • Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall
  • Can’t recall events after hit or fall

Signs Reported by the Athlete

  • Headache or “pressure” in the head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy or groggy
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Does not “feel right”

What Should You Do If You Think A Concussion Has Occurred?

1. Seek medical attention right away.

A health care professional will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe to return to play.

2. Keep your child out of play until medically cleared.

Concussions take time to heal. Don’t let your child return to play until a health care professional says it’s okay. Children, who return to play too soon, while the brain is still healing, risk a greater chance of having a second concussion. Second or later concussions can be very serious. They can cause permanent brain damage, affecting your child for a lifetime.

3. Inform all coaches about any recent concussions.

Coaches should know if your child has a recent concussion. Your child’s coach may not know about a concussion your child received in another sport or activity unless you tell them.

4. Helping your child return to sports safely after a concussion.

As your child’s symptoms decrease, the extra help or support can be removed gradually. Children and teens who return to activities after a concussion may need to:

  • Take rest breaks as needed,
  • Spend fewer hours at activities,
  • If in doubt, sit it out!

Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks
1 Harry S Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401