Concussions and Student Athletes Fact Sheet for Parents and Athletes

(Requirement to Read and Signed by Parents and Athletes)

WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?

A concussion is a brain injury that is caused by a bump/ blow to the head. It can change the way your brain normally works. It can occur during practices or games in any sport. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. A concussion can happen even if you haven’t been knocked out. You can’t see a concussion. Signs and symptoms of a 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.

Parents and Guardians

If your child experiences a bump/blow to the head during a game/ practice, look for any of the following signs/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 being hit or falling
• Can’t recall events after being hit or falling

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 correctly.
• Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

What should a Parent/Guardian do if they think their child has a concussion?
1. 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. Notify your child's coach if you think your child has a concussion.
2. 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.
3. Tell your child’s coach about any recent concussion in ANY sport or activity. Your child’s coach may not know about a concussion your child received in another sport or activity unless you tell the coach.

Athletes

What are the symptoms of a concussion?

• Headache or “pressure” in head
• Nausea or vomiting
• Balance problems or dizziness
• Double or blurry vision
• Bothered by light
• Bothered by noise
• Feeling sluggish, hazy or foggy
• Difficulty paying attention
• Memory problems
• Confusion
• Does not “feel right”


What should an athlete do if they think they have a concussion?

• Tell your coaches and your parents. Never ignore a bump or blow to the head even if you feel fine. Also, tell your coach if one of your teammates might have a concussion.
• Get a medical checkup. A doctor /health care professional can tell you if you have a concussion and when you are OK to return to play.
• Give yourself time to get better. If you have had a concussion, your brain needs time to heal. While your brain is still healing, you are much more likely to have a second concussion. Second or later concussions can cause damage to your brain. It is important to rest until you get approval from a doctor or health care professional to return to play.
• It is better to miss one game than the whole season.

For more detailed information on concussion and traumatic brain injury,
visit: http://www.cdc.gov/injury or www.cdc.gov/ConcussionInYouthSports.

Student-Athlete & Parent/Legal Guardian Concussion Statement
*If there is anything on this sheet that you do not understand, please ask a school staff member to explain it to you.
*This form must be completed for each student-athlete, even if there are multiple student-athletes in each household.

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