A concussion is a brain injury caused by a bump or blow to the head that can change the way your brain normally works.
Even what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. Learn how to prevent, recognize, and respond to a concussion. Also get information about getting a baseline concussion test can help medical professionals detect whether a concussion has occurred, the severity of the injury and when play can safely be resumed.
Click below for more information:
Concussion Facts: Read key facts from the Centers for Disease Control on preventing, recognizing and responding to concussions in athletes
Concussion Articles: Learn about concussion prevention in hockey in these two articles and what every player, coach and parent should know.
Concussion Test: In the event of a head injury, a baseline concussion test can help medical professionals detect whether a concussion has occurred, the severity of the injury and when play can safely be resumed. Learn more about how to take this important precaution.
More Concussion Resources: See these additional articles and resources on thi slist compiled by USA Hockey
Concussion Facts from the Centers for Disease Control
HEADS UP: CONCUSSION IN YOUTH SPORTS -- A Fact Sheet for PARENTS
WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?
A concussion is a brain injury. Concussions are caused by a bump or blow to the head. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.
You can’t see a concussion. Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after the injury or may not appear or be noticed until days or weeks after the injury. If your child reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms yourself, seek medical attention right away.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION?
Signs Observed by Parents or Guardians:
If your child has experienced a bump or blow to the head during a game or practice, look for any of the following signs and symptoms of a concussion:
- Appears dazed or stunned
- Is confused about assignment or position
- Forgets an instruction
- Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
- Moves clumsily
- Answers questions slowly
- Loses consciousness (even briefly)
- Shows behavior or personality changes
- Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall
Symptoms Reported by Athlete:
- Headache or “pressure” in head
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Double or blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to noise
- Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
- Concentration or memory problems
- Does not “feel right”
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR CHILD PREVENT A CONCUSSION?
- Every sport is different, but there are steps your children can take to protect themselves from concussion.
- Ensure that they follow their coach’s rules for safety and the rules of the sport.
- Encourage them to practice good sportsmanship at all times.
- Make sure they wear the right protective equipment for their activity (such as helmets, padding, shin guards, and eye and mouth guards). Protective equipment should fit properly, be well maintained, and be worn consistently and correctlyLearn the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU THINK YOUR CHILD HAS A CONCUSSION?
- Seek medical attention right away. A health care professional will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for your child to return to sports.
- Keep your child out of play. Concussions take time to heal. Don’t let your child return to play until a health care professional says it’s OK. Children who return to play too soon—while the brain is still healing—risk a greater chance of having a second concussion. Second or later concussions can be very serious. They can cause permanent brain damage, affecting your child for a lifetime.
- Tell your child’s coach about any recent concussion. Coaches should know if your child had a recent concussion in ANY sport. Your child’s coach may not know about a concussion your child received in another sport or activity unless you tell the coach.
When in doubt...sit them out. It’s better to miss one game than the whole season.
For more information and to order additional materials free-of-charge from the CDC, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/youth.html
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USA Hockey Magazine article on the signs and symptoms of a concussion, how a player suffers a concussion and how long he or she should remain out of action before returning to play
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ImPACT Concussion Test
In the event of a head injury, a baseline concussion test can help medical professionals detect whether a concussion has occurred, the severity of the injury and when play can safely be resumed.
The test, called ImPACT, is available online or can be administered in a doctor's office. More information about the test, which is used by the NHL, NFL and many colleges and high schools, is available at: http://www.impacttest.com
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the ImPACT Concussion Test
What is it?
Cognitive, computerized test for concussion management, specifically return-to-play decisions
Measures cognitive baseline pre-concussion
Can be used after a concussion but it must be disclosed or measurements are invalid
Test length averages 30 minutes
Development and Use?
University of Pittsburgh MD’s and PhD’s
Peer reviewed and validity tested
Many pro and student sports teams currently use ImPACT
Keep copy of baseline test in hockey bag for use by medical porfessionals in event of injury
Why use it?
How is it administered?
Private physician office; Benefit: controlled administration, local physician has baseline at office for comparisons
On-line - $10 on-line through Henry Ford Health System; Benefit: cost effective, convenient
How can my child be tested?
On-line @ $10/test: http://www.henryfordhealth.org/153781.cfm
The Center for Advanced Pediatrics. Office of Dr. Dobos in Norwalk, CT. $25/test, Ellen Fahey, APRN will administer the test. Call 203-229-2000 to schedule an appointment.
Pediatric Healthcare Associates. Office of Dr. Lee in Southport, CT. $25/test. Call 203-452-8322 and ask for Lois to schedule an appointment.
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|2010 Concussion Summit
||Coaches are invited to join physicians to discuss this important safety topic. More information
|NFHS online course
||Online course titled Concussion in Sports - What You Need to Know. Read more
|Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta
||CDC concussion downloads at http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/youth.html
CDC free online training More information
|Concussions in High School Sports
||DVD/Videotape with examples of returning to play too soon after mild traumatic brain injury. www.cdc.gov/ncipc/tbi
||ImPACT psychometric testing program is used by the NHL, NFL and many colleges and high schools. Download articles about returning to play guidelines after a concussion. www.impacttest.com
|Returning to play after concussion
||Dr. Alan Ashare discusses what you should know and do about returning to play after a concussion. Read the article | Guidelines
|NHL.com feature article
||National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) and National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) team up on campaign. Read more
|Minn. Hockey Journal article
||A medical and psychosocial perspective on concussions in ice hockey. Read more
|The 33 News article
||News article and video about how a Texas hockey league deals with concussions. Read more
|LA Times article
||Los Angeles Times report on concussions among child athletes. Read more
The information, including opinions and recommendations, contained in this website is for educational purposes only. Such information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. No one should act upon any information provided in this website without first seeking medical advice from a qualified medical physician.