Head Injury Care
► WRITTEN clearance from your physician is
REQUIRED for return to sports or P.E.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or to your body. It can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way your brain normally works. It can happen even if you are not “knocked out” or lose consciousness. Even a “ding” or having your “bell rung” can be a serious injury.
Signs and symptoms can show up right after the injury, or can take days or weeks to appear.
If you have signs or symptoms of a concussion,
seek medical attention right away.
What are the signs & symptoms?
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blurred or double vision
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Confused or distracted
- Difficulty speaking
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Tinnitus or ringing in your ears
- Cognitive problems
- Memory difficulty
- Restlessness, irritability or sadness
- Any changes in usual personality
- Slowness responding to questions or directions
- Unable to concentrate
- Sensitive to noises
- Sensitive to light
- Difference in pupil size
- Blank or vacant stare or expression
- Feeling “foggy” or sluggish
- Loss of consciousness
How should you care for a head injury?
· Follow your physician’s directions.
· DO NOT return to play until cleared.
· Rest (limit both physical & mental activity)
· Be honest about your symptoms.
· DO NOT hide your symptoms
· If your physician lets you, use acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain.
You can return to sports when….
- You are completely symptom free.
- You have completed cognitive and functional testing with the certified athletic trainer.
- You have submitted your doctor’s clearance note to the school nurse.
- You have completed a return-to-play protocol for your sport.
- The District Physician has provided final clearance to the athletic trainer.
What are the risks?
Athletes who return to sports to early – while the brain is still healing – are at a greater risk for a more severe second concussion.
Second, or later, concussions can cause serious brain damage that may last a lifetime.
This information is not intended to be, and should not be used as a substitute for appropriate medical care. Consult your physician if your condition worsens or fails to improve despite treatment.