If an athlete is suspected of having a concussion, he/she should be immediately removed from all play, whether it be a game or practice. Continuing to participate in physical activity after a concussion can lead to worsening symptoms, increased risk for further injury, and even death.

While risk of injury, including concussion, may never be completely eliminated from youth sports, there are proactive measures that may be taken to help reduce head injury risks,including the following:

  • Concussions and head injuries should be taken seriously.
  • One of the most important concussion safety measures is being knowledgeable of concussion signs/symptoms and capable of recognizing injury.

Possible signs/symptoms of concussion:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Visual problems
  • Balance problems
  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Nervousness
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Confusion
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Numbness/tingling
  • Sleeping less than usual
  • Difficulty with/slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Feeling mentally foggy
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Unequal/dilated pupils
  • Sadness
  • Feeling more emotional
  • Amnesia
  • Trouble falling asleep

If there is any suspicion that an athlete may have sustained a head injury or concussion, he or she should be immediately removed from play.

Remember “when in doubt, sit it out”.

  • Athletes should wear appropriate and well-fitted equipment for their sport, but keep in mind that there is no equipment or gear currently available that will prevent a concussion.
  • Players should be encouraged to use proper sporting techniques, as instructed by coaching staff.
  • Athletes should also follow all rules and play with good sportsmanship.
  • Lastly, athletes should feel comfortable reporting injury.

If you feel you/your child has suffered a concussion, the IBJI Sports Neurology Team is available for post-injury evaluation and management. To learn more, call our office at 847-682-8463.