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Concussion Awareness & Education

The health-related information herein is meant for basic informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as medical advice, substitute for a doctor’s appointment or to be used for diagnosing or treating concussions. Please consult with your physician before making any decisions.

Understanding the causes . . . Knowing the symptoms

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. There may be no visible signs of brain injury, so it’s important to understand causes and symptoms of a concussion.


What causes a concussion?

Your brain is a soft organ that is surrounded by spinal fluid and protected by your hard skull. Normally, the fluid around your brain acts like a cushion that keeps your brain from banging into your skull. But if your head or your body is hit hard, your brain can crash into your skull and be injured.


There are many ways to get a concussion. Some common ways include fights, falls, playground injuries, car crashes, and bike accidents. Concussions can also happen while participating in any sport or activity such as football, wrestling, boxing, hockey, soccer, skiing, or snowboarding.


What are the symptoms of a concussion?

You don't have to pass out (lose consciousness) to have a concussion. Some people will have obvious symptoms of a concussion, such as passing out or forgetting what happened right before the injury. But other people won't. With rest, most people fully recover from a concussion.


In rare cases concussions cause more serious problems. Repeated concussions or a severe concussion may require surgery or lead to long-lasting problems with movement, learning, or speaking. Because of the small chance of permanent brain problems, it is important to contact a doctor if you or someone you know has symptoms of a concussion. 


Symptoms of a concussion may include:

Thinking and remembering

  • Not thinking clearly

  • Feeling slowed down

  • Not being able to concentrate

  • Not being able to remember new information


  • Headache

  • Fuzzy or blurry vision

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Dizziness

  • Sensitivity to light or noise

  • Balance problems

  • Feeling tired or having no energy


Emotional & Mood
  • Easily upset or angered

  • Sad

  • Nervous or anxious

  • More emotional


  • Sleeping more than usual

  • Sleeping less than usual

  • Having a hard time falling asleep


Are symptoms different in young children?

Young children can have the same symptoms of a concussion as older children and adults. But sometimes it can be hard to tell if a small child has a concussion.


Young children may also have symptoms like:
  • Crying more than usual

  • Headache that does not go away

  • Changes in the way they play or act

  • Changes in the way they nurse, eat, or sleep

  • Being upset easily or having more temper tantrums

  • A sad mood

  • Lack of interest in their usual activities or favorite toys

  • Loss of new skills, such as toilet training

  • Loss of balance and trouble walking

  • Not being able to pay attention

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