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Signs & Symptoms of a Concussion

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a concussion is very important. In most concussions, the child or adult does not lose consciousness. All it takes for a concussion to happen is a blow or jolt to the head.

Concussion Symptoms Needing Immediate Care

After a jolt to the head, call 911 or get emergency help for:

  • Headaches that worsen
  • Seizures or slurred speech
  • Extreme drowsiness or difficulty wakening
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Inability to recognize people or places
  • Confusion or irritability
  • Weakness or numbness in arms or legs
  • One pupil of eye larger than other
  • Loss of consciousness, even for a moment
  • Unusual behavior

Signs and Symptoms in Athletes and Others

Remove from the game/activity, call 911 and seek immediate care if the person:

  • Looks dazed or stunned
  • Is confused about position assignment
  • Is unsure about the game, plays, score or opponent
  • Moves clumsily, answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness, even for a moment
  • Shows behavior or personality change
  • Can’t remember events before or after the hit or fall

Other signs to have evaluated quickly by a concussion specialist:

  • Headache, pressure in head
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness, balance problems
  • Double or fuzzy vision
  • Light or noise sensitivity
  • Feels sluggish, slow or in a fog
  • Does not “feel right”

If Concussion May Have Occurred

Remove immediately from game or activity and have evaluation by concussion expert. Parents or guardians must be notified about concussion possibility and given information. A student athlete may not play until symptoms are gone and the athlete has been approved for return to play by a healthcare professional.

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