Coordinate and produce local community lectures to increase concussion awareness

  Kids and Teens

What is a concussion?

If you hit your head or face really hard you can get a concussion. You can also get a concussion if you get hit in the chest hard enough to cause your head to whip back and forth. You do not get a concussion every time you hit your head because our brains are protected by hard skulls and special fluid between your brain and your skull. However, if you hit your head hard enough you might feel dizzy or confused, feel sick to your stomach, or have trouble remembering what just happened. This might mean that you have a concussion.

How do I know I have a concussion?

If you get hit in the head, face or body and afterwards feel different than you did before the hit, you have a concussion. Signs and symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Vision changes
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Problems with balance
  • Feeling extra tired
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty remembering things
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling slowed down or in a daze
  • Feeling more emotional, grouchy or sad

What should I do if I think I have had a concussion?

If you are an athlete, immediately tell your coach or athletic trainer. You should not continue participating in practice or a game if you think you have had a concussion. If you hit you head hard at school or at home and feel different, immediately tell your school nurse or parents that you think you may have a concussion.

The brain usually needs extra rest after it is hurt so most kids should stay home from school for a day or two after a concussion. Make sure your teacher knows you have had a concussion so they can help you if you need a break during the day to rest. Talk to your parents, teachers, or school nurse if you become worried or stressed about school.

Why is it important for me to tell someone I have a concussion?

It is usually easy to see if someone breaks their leg or arm but it is not always as easy for someone to notice that you have had a concussion. Most concussions heal in a few days however if you hit your head again while your brain is still healing you can end up with a very serious injury. If you think you may have gotten a concussion make sure you are quickly evaluated by someone who is trained in identifying a concussion such as your doctor or athletic trainer.

How can I help my brain heal?

  • Don't do anything where you could hit your head again like skateboarding, riding a bike, and climbing trees. Stay safe! Your doctor will tell you when you can do these activities again.
  • Get plenty of rest if you need it. You may feel like you need to rest and sleep more after a concussion. It is okay to rest or take a nap.
  • Tell an adult if your head hurts and tell your parents or teacher if you get a headache. Take a break from what you were doing. If this doesn't help, lying down with the lights off can help headaches go away. Sometimes, a doctor may give you medicine to help with headaches after a concussion.
  • Paying attention can sometimes be difficult after a concussion. Taking breaks can help, especially while doing homework.
  • Remembering things can sometimes be hard to. Ask again and just let your parents, teachers or friends know you forgot. Writing things down can help also.
  • Some kids feel a little cranky after a concussion and can get upset or mad over small things. Taking a break from what you are doing or taking a deep breath can help. Also, going to a quiet place to relax might help.
  • Patience, patience, patience! You might feel different in some ways after a concussion. Your brain should get back to normal after it's had a little time to heal. Don't worry!

Want to learn more? Check out these other websites!

Brain Injury Association of Connecticut (BIAC)
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Neuroscience for Kids