What is a concussion?
- “A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells” (CDC, 2019).
If you suspect your student has a concussion, they should be evaluated by a licensed health care provider as soon as possible. If your student is currently diagnosed with a concussion or being evaluated for a concussion, please communicate that information to your student’s school site. There is a process with specific steps that should be followed to ensure your student returns to school and activities when they are ready.
Every student’s recovery from a brain injury or concussion will look different. Some students may feel better in a few weeks whereas others may take several months to fully recover. Concussion symptoms may be present during the recovery process, however if any symptoms are getting worse be sure to seek medical care.
Dangerous Signs and Symptoms
In rare cases, a concussion can progress and your student may develop severe symptoms. If your student has one or more of the follow symptoms following a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, call 911 or seek emergency services immediately:
one pupil is larger than the other
drowsiness or inability to wake up
a headache that gets worse and does not go away
slurred speech, weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination
repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures (shaking or twitching)
unusual behavior, increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation
loss of consciousness (passed out/knocked out)