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School Sports: Know the Signs of a Concussion


Playing an organized sport in school is a great way for your child to stay in shape, learn about teamwork, and build leadership skills. But whether they play football, soccer, volleyball, or baseball, it’s crucial to know the signs of a serious injury such as a concussion.If your child receives a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, remove them from the game/practice until they’re seen by a medical provider. Watch for the following signs that they may have a concussion:

  • 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 position, or is unsure of the game, score, or opponent
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)
  • Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes
  • Says they are just not “feeling right”

Signs and symptoms usually show up soon after the injury, but you should check for signs of a concussion for a few days. If you suspect your child has a concussion, they need to be seen by a medical provider right away. The doctor may order a scan of your child’s brain (such as a CT scan) and perform other tests to assess your child’s learning and memory skills.Be sure to obtain written instructions from the doctor on when your child can start playing sports again. Children or teens who return to play too soon risk a greater chance of having a repeat concussion, which can be very serious. Always remember that it’s better to miss a game or two than to miss the whole season!

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