are the Signs and Symptoms of Concussion?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Most people with a concussion recover quickly and fully.
But for some people, symptoms can last for days, weeks,
or longer. In general, recovery may be slower among older
adults, young children, and teens. Those who have had
a concussion in the past are also at risk of having another
one and may find that it takes longer to recover if they
have another concussion.
Symptoms of concussion usually fall into four categories:
Some of these symptoms may appear right away, while
others may not be noticed for days or months after the
injury, or until the person starts resuming their everyday
life and more demands are placed upon them. Sometimes,
people do not recognize or admit that they are having
problems. Others may not understand why they are having
problems and what their problems really are, which can
make them nervous and upset.
The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be difficult
to sort out. Early on, problems may be missed by the
person with the concussion, family members, or doctors.
People may look fine even though they are acting or
When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention:
Danger Signs in Adults
In rare cases, a dangerous blood clot may form on the
brain in a person with a concussion and crowd the brain
against the skull. Contact your health care professional
or emergency department right away if you have any of
the following danger signs after a bump, blow, or jolt
to the head or body:
Headache that gets worse and does not go away.
Weakness, numbness or decreased coordination.
Repeated vomiting or nausea.
The people checking on you should take you to an emergency
department right away if you:
Look very drowsy or cannot be awakened.
Have one pupil (the black part in the middle of the
eye) larger than the other.
Have convulsions or seizures.
Cannot recognize people or places.
Are getting more and more confused, restless, or agitated.
Have unusual behavior.
Lose consciousness (a brief loss of consciousness should
be taken seriously and the person should be carefully
Danger Signs in Children
Take your child to the emergency department right away
if they received a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or
Have any of the danger signs for adults listed above.
Will not stop crying and cannot be consoled.
Will not nurse or eat.
What Should I do If a Concussion Occurs?
If you suspect that an athlete has a concussion, implement
your 4-step action plan:
1. Remove the athlete from play. Look for signs
and symptoms of a concussion if your athlete has experienced
a bump or blow to the head or body. When in doubt, keep
the athlete out of play.
2. Ensure that the athlete is evaluated by a health
care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion.
Do not try to judge the severity of the injury yourself.
Health care professionals have a number of methods that
they can use to assess the severity of concussions.
As a coach, recording the following information can
help health care professionals in assessing the athlete
after the injury:
Cause of the injury and force of the hit or blow to
the head or body
Any loss of consciousness (passed out/knocked out) and
if so, for how long
Any memory loss immediately following the injury
Any seizures immediately following the injury
Number of previous concussions (if any)
3. Inform the athlete's parents or guardians about
the possible concussion and give them the fact sheet
on concussion. Make sure they know that the athlete
should be seen by a health care professional experienced
in evaluating for concussion.
4. Keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury
and until a health care professional, experienced in
evaluating for concussion, says they are symptom-free
and it's OK to return to play. A repeat concussion
that occurs before the brain recovers from the first-usually
within a short period of time (hours, days, or weeks)-can
slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long-term
problems. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result
in edema (brain swelling), permanent brain damage, and
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