A concussion is a disturbance in brain function that occurs following a blow to the head or as a result of the violent shake of the head. Concussions have a variety of signs and symptoms. There are the obvious – appears dazed/stunned, forgets plays, unsure of game or score, loses consciousness, headache, nausea, blurry vision, etc. Concussions also cause subtle symptoms that affect the ability of the brain to process information. Symptoms can show up immediately or can appear days or weeks after the injury.
Signs and symptoms of a concussion can include, but are not limited to:
Symptoms reported by the athlete: headache, nausea or vomiting, balance problems or dizziness, double or blurry vision, sensitivity to light or noise, feeling sluggish or foggy, concentration or memory problems, confusion, and just “not feeling right”.
Symptoms observed by others: appears dazed or stunned, confused about things, forgets instructions, is unsure of game score or opponent, answers questions slowly, loses consciousness, shows mood or behavior changes.
If you think your child has a concussion, please discuss it with a medical professional right away. If that is not me, because it is outside athletic training room hours, please contact me and so that I am aware of your child’s injury and can continue to follow up.
Brain rest is an important part of concussion recovery. The best way to get brain rest is to be in a dark room and sleep. The less electronics (phone, computer, tv, music, etc.) the better. If school work can be broken into small portions and done without increasing symptoms, then school work is ok. If necessary, we can make school modifications to give the brain time to heal.
Once the athlete is symptom free he or she will begin the return to play (RTP) protocol. The step-wise return to play guidelines the ICCSD health services staff will follow is:
- No activity – rest until asymptomatic
- ImPACT test back to baseline level
- Light aerobic exercise
- Sport-specific training
- Non-contact drills
- Full-contact drills
- Game play
Athletes that have a concussion will not be allowed to return to play until they have completed the above steps and are cleared by your school’s certified athletic trainer.
If you have questions about concussions or about your child’s recovery, I can be reached by email at email@example.com or at the City High Athletic Training room 319-688-1001 ext. 4042.