What Is a Concussion?


What Is a Concussion?

As a parent, coach, or mentor, or athlete, you can play a key role in preventing concussions and responding to them when they occur. Here are some steps you can take to ensure the best outcome for your athletes:

Be Safety First 

  • Reinforce safe playing techniques and encourage everyone to follow the rules of play.
  • Encourage good sportsmanship at all times.
  • Make sure you wear the right protective equipment for their activity (such as shin guards). Protective equipment should fit properly, be well maintained, and be worn consistently and correctly.

Review the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

Don’t Play Sports With a Concussion 

Sometimes players and parents wrongly believe that it shows strength and courage to play injured. Discourage others from pressuring injured athletes to play. Don’t let athletes persuade you that they’re just fine after they have had any bump or blow to the head.

Prevent Long-Term Problems & Impact Syndrome

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:

  • brain swelling,
  • permanent brain damage, and
  • death.

This more serious condition is called second impact syndrome.

Do not return to play or allow your athlete to return to play until you have been evaluated and given permission by a health care professional with concussion experience. Remind others: “It’s better to miss one game than the whole season.”