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Concussion Cautions

Each year, about 2.5 million Americans experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI). About 75% of these are concussions or other mild forms of TBI, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“You don’t need to hit your head to sustain a concussion,” says A. Michael Henrie, DO, a sports medicine physician at University of Utah Health. “Impact to the truck or neck can transfer forces to the brain, causing a concussion.”

Concussions are the most common type of brain injury. Take caution with these important facts about concussions:

Infographic explains cautions to take to avoid a concussion

Leading causes of TBI

  • Falls
  • Car accidents
  • Getting struck by or against an object

Recognize the symptoms

Concussion symptoms usually fall into these four categories:

  1. Cognitive: Difficulty concentrating, thinking clearly, or remembering information
  2. Physical: Headache, blurry vision, nausea, fatigue, or sensitivity to light
  3. Emotional: Irritability, nervousness, anxiety, or sadness
  4. Sleep: Trouble falling asleep or sleeping more or less than usual

Highest risk age groups

  • Children age 0 to 4
  • Teens age 15 to 19
  • Adults older than 65

"Concussions are common in children participating in sports," Henrie says. Follow these three tips to help keep your kids safe when playing sports:

  1. Use appropriate protective equipment, such as helmets.
  2. Adhere to sport rules and praise good sportsmanship.
  3. Recognize and respond quickly to possible concussions.