Concussion and Sports

by Mary Rains, Mille Lacs Health System.

Having an active teenager who exercises and participates in sports is a great way to promote a healthy lifestyle, teamwork, and discipline. However, accidents happen, and whether they’re on the field or the court, it’s important to know the basic signs of a concussion or traumatic brain injury. 

Four Signs of a Concussion

1. Headache & Head Pressure

Head pain, or a feeling of pressure immediately after a collision or fall could indicate a serious issue. When head pain persists for minutes, hours, or days after a fall or blows to the head, a hospital visit is encouraged for neurological testing and further observation. 

2. Loss of Consciousness

Immediately following a brain injury or physical collision, whether it be on the field or related to an auto accident, it’s common for individuals to lose consciousness for a few seconds. In addition to losing consciousness, trauma to the brain can result in drowsiness and difficulty staying awake. In this situation, a trip to the hospital or urgent care for further evaluation is a must. 

3. Confusion & Temporary Amnesia

After a blow to the head, ask your child a few simple questions, and continue to converse over the next few hours. Confusion, temporary amnesia, or forgetfulness indicate the need for medical attention to prevent long-term cognitive issues. 

4. Vomiting

People who experience a traumatic brain injury may experience vestibular dysfunction or an issue with the inner ear. This imbalance often leads to vomiting and nausea. Thus, studies have determined this symptom to be a primary indicator of a concussion. 

If your child is exhibiting any of the symptoms noted above, seek medical care for them at a facility that understands concussion protocol treatment.