A concussion is a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body in which the brain moves quickly back and forth inside the skull causing a “mild” traumatic brain injury.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS:
COGNITIVE (THINKING/REMEMBERING): Difficulty concentrating, difficulty remembering, confusion, feeling slowed down, feeling “in a fog”.
PHYSICAL: Headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, neck pain, fatigue or low energy, sensitivity to light or noise, balance problems.
EMOTIONAL: Irritable, sadness, emotional instability, nervous or anxious
SLEEP: Sleeping less or more than usual, drowsiness, trouble falling asleep.
WHAT SHOULD I DO? :
- Remove the athlete from play immediately and seek medical attention.
- Never return to sports or recreational activities on the same day the injury occurred.
- Seek guidance from a healthcare professional experienced and trained in the evaluation and management of concussions to guide a step-based return to activities progression including work, school and play.
- Take time to get better - The brain needs time to heal.
- Limit activities involving physical and cognitive exertion, such as watching TV, video games, working on computer, texting, driving a car and exercise. Such activities can cause the signs and symptoms of a concussion to worsen or prolong the healing process. These activities should be carefully managed and monitored by a health care professional.
- Make sure that a concussion is reported. Repeat concussions in young athletes can result in more traumatic injuries involving increased swelling or permanent damage to the brain.
If the following symptoms worsen or develop, please contact your doctor or the nearest hospital emergency department immediately.
- Drowsy and cannot be awakened.
- Weakness, numbness or decreased coordination.
- Pupils becoming unequal in size.
- Increasing confusion, restless.
- Worsening headache.
- Repeat vomiting or nausea.
- Convulsions or seizures.
- Slurred speech or inability to speak.
- Inability to recognize people or places.
- Loss of or fluctuating level of consciousness.
- Increasing irritability, agitation, unusual behavior
- Drink alcohol.
- Use prescription or OTC drugs without medical supervision.
- Drive a car or operate machinery.
- Engage in physical activity that makes symptoms worse (eg. exercise, weight lifting, sports)
- Engage in mental activity that makes symptoms worse (eg. TV, video games, texting)
IT IS OK TO:
- Use ice packs on head and neck as needed for comfort.
- Eat a carbohydrate-rich diet.
- Go to sleep.
- Rest (no strenuous mental or physical activity)