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Spot Signs of Concussion

As school spins up and student athletes return to fall sports, it’s important to be aware of signs and symptoms of a concussion/ mTBI (mild Traumatic Brain Injury).

A concussion is a type of TBI caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth, as in whiplash. Even what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious if it causes a concussion. 

Kids who play contact sports are often at risk for concussion, which can put sports—and life—on hold. Concussions can cause a range of short- and long-term problems, and they can affect thinking and memory, vision, balance, language, and emotions.

  • Observable signs and symptoms of a concussion include:
  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Moves clumsily
  • Can't recall events
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Mood, personality or behavior change
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Any change to an athlete's behavior, thinking, or physical functioning.

If you suspect a concussion, it is advised to seek medical attention by visiting the emergency department, urgent care or your primary care physician for initial management. Do not return to play or activity until evaluated by a health care professional experienced in concussion management. The concussion professional will provide an individualized evaluation on when to start a gradual return to activity based on the elimination of symptoms.

Jeremy Vandehurst, MA, ATC is a certified athletic trainer and concussion coordinator with Barton Center for Orthopedics & Wellness. Learn more about concussion management at Jeremy’s free Wellness Webinar on Thursday, August 12 at 5pm. Register in advance, and view previously recorded webinars at BartonHealth.org/Lecture.