Concussion Protocol
Heads Up

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury. Concussions are caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body. Even a "ding," "getting your bell run," or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.

What are the sign and symptoms?

You can't see a concussion. Sign and symptoms of concussion can show up right after the injury or may not appear or be noticed until days after the injury. If your teen reports one or more symptoms of concussion listed below, or if you notice the symptoms yourself, keep you teen out of play and seek medical attention right away.

Signs Observed by Parents or Guardians Symptoms Reported by Athlete
  • 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 mood, behavior, or personality changes
  • Can't recall events prior to hit or fall
  • Can't recall events after hit or fall
  • Headache or "pressure" in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Just not "feeling right" or is "feeling down"

How can your teen prevent a concussion?

Every sport is different, but there are steps your teens can take to protect themselves from concussion and other injuries.

  • Make sure they wear the right protective equipment for their activity. It should fit properly, be well maintained, and be worn consistently and correctly.
  • Ensure that they follow their coaches' rules of the sport.
  • Encourage them to practice good sportsmanship at all times.

It's better to miss one game than the whole season.

For more information and to order additional materials free-of-charge,

U.S. Department of Health And Human Services
Centers For Disease control and Prevention

Downloadable PDF