"If nothing else, one day you can look someone straight in the eyes and say, `But I lived through it. And it made me who I am today." - Iain S. Thomas
"Anyone who takes the time to be kind is beautiful." - Richelle E. Goodrich
"Always help someone. You might be the only one that does."
Youth and Concussions
A concussion is a brain injury. It affects the way a person may think and remember things and can cause a variety of symptoms and signs.
Facts about Concussions
- In Niagara, most emergency room visits for concussions are in 10-19 year olds
- Over 50% of brain injuries in youth are caused by sports
- The Ministry of Education's Policy/Program Memorandum No.158 requires your school to have a concussion policy. This will promote student health and safety and ensure healthy and safe environments in which students can learn.
- Niagara Region Public Health is working with local minor sport organizations to help protect young athletes against concussions. Learn More about Concussions and Minor Sports in Niagara.
Causes of a Concussion
- Any blow to the head, face or neck, or a blow to the body that transmits a force to the head may cause a concussion
- A concussion can occur during sports and recreational activities, as well as due to falls, motor vehicle collisions, and violence
- Most concussions in 10-19 year olds result from sports and recreational activities
- In children under 10 years of age, most concussions result from falls
Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion
- Loss of consciousness
- Seizure or convulsion
- Balance problems
- Nausea or vomiting
- Feeling slowed down
- "Pressure in head"
- More emotional
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Fatigue or low energy
- Feeling like "in a fog"
- Nervous or anxious
- Neck Pain
- "Don't feel right"
- Sensitivity to noise
- Difficulty remembering
- Difficulty concentrating
Most concussions do not involve a loss of consciousness. There is no helmet available to make you "concussion-proof."
Signs and symptoms may be immediate or may take hours or days to emerge.
If you think you have a concussion, you should stop the activity immediately.
Tell someone - parents, coaches, teachers, friends.
It is important that you are examined by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner
as soon as possible that day.
Without identification and proper management, a concussion can result in permanent brain damage and in rare occasions, even death. Second impact syndrome is a rare condition that causes rapid and severe brain swelling and often catastrophic results. It occurs when an individual suffers a second concussion before he/she has fully recovered from the first concussion.
Guidelines for Students Recovering from a Concussion
The Concussion Tool outlines the step-wise process to recover from a concussion.
A student with a diagnosed concussion needs to follow a medically supervised, individualized "Return to Learn/Return to Physical Activity Plan". A concussion is a brain injury and needs time to heal.
More Information about Concussions