USA Football
What Should I Do if I Think I Have a Concussion?
Ignoring your symptoms and trying to “tough it out” often makes symptoms worse. Tell your coach,
parent, and athletic trainer if you think you or one of your teammates may have a concussion. Don’t let
anyone pressure you into continuing to practice or play with a concussion.
Only a health care professional can tell if you have a concussion and when it’s OK to return to play.
Sports have injury timeouts and player substitutions so that you can get checked out and the team can
perform at its best. The sooner you get checked out, the sooner you may be able to safely return to play.
A concussion can affect your ability to do schoolwork and other activities. Most athletes with a
concussion get better and return to sports, but it is important to rest and give your brain time to heal.
A repeat concussion that occurs while your brain is still healing can cause long-term problems that may
change your life forever.
Don’t hide it,
Report it.
get checked out.
Take care of
your brain.
All concussions are serious. Don’t hide it, report it. Take time to recover. It’s better to miss one game than the whole season.
Young Athletes
Let’s Take Brain Injuries Out of Play
Concussion Facts
• A concussion is a brain injury that affects how your
brain works.
• A concussion is caused by a blow to the head or body:
• A concussion can happen even if you haven’t been
knocked unconscious.
• If you think you have a concussion, you should
not return to play on the day of the injury and until
a health care professional says you are OK to
return to play.
Concussion SYMPTO MS
• Concussion symptoms differ with each person and with each
injury, and may not be noticeable for hours or days. Common
symptoms include:
During recovery, exercising or activities that involve a lot of concentration
(such as studying, working on the computer, or playing video games) may
cause concussion symptoms to reappear or get worse.
• from contact with another
player, hitting a hard surface
such as the ground, ice, or
court, or
• being hit by a piece of
equipment such as a
lacrosse stick, hockey puck,
or field hockey ball.
• Headache
• Confusion
• Difficulty remembering or
paying attention
• Balance problems
or dizziness
• Feeling sluggish, hazy,
foggy, or groggy
• Feeling irritable, more
emotional, or “down”
• Nausea or vomiting
• Bothered by light
or noise
• Double or blurry vision
• Slowed reaction time
• Sleep problems
• Loss of consciousness
• Unlike with some other injuries, playing or practicing with concussion symptoms is dangerous and can lead to a longer
recovery and a delay in your return to play.
• While your brain is still healing, you are much more likely to have another concussion. Repeat concussions can increase the
time it takes for you to recover and the likelihood of long term problems.
• In rare cases, repeat concussions in young athletes can result in brain swelling or permanent damage to your brain.
They can even be fatal.
*For more information about concussion and other types of traumatic brain injuries, go to
A part of CDC’s Heads Up series
Posted Jul 8, 2011

It's better to miss one game than the whole season.