Concussion Information for Parents, teachers and coaches
A concussion is a brain injury which can be caused by any blow to the head, face or neck, or a blow to the body which causes a sudden jarring of the head. You do not need to be knocked out to have had a concussion. It is a brain injury that cannot be seen on routine x-rays, or CT scans. It is diagnosed by the history of how the injury occurred and the symptoms the person is having. Some common symptoms include:
- General confusion
- Feeling dazed
- Double/blurry vision or loss of vision
- Poor coordination or balance
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Poor concentration
Anyone with a suspected concussion should stop all physical activity right away. Symptoms caused by a head injury may get worse later that day or night. The person should not be left alone and should be assessed by a healthcare professional with experience treating people with concussions as soon as possible. If the person has worsening symptoms such as vomiting more than twice or having a seizure after the injury you should call 911 immediately for emergency assistance.
The signs and symptoms of a concussion usually last 7 to 10 days but may last much longer in some people especially those younger than 18 years old or people who have had previous concussions. Concussion symptoms tend to get worse with physical and mental exertion. This is why it is important to follow a healthcare provider’s advice about return to school, work and play.
Helmets are very effective against certain head injuries such as skull fractures but they do not prevent concussions. It is important to wear proper fitting helmets for activities like cycling, skateboarding, hockey, football, skiing, ice skating and in-line skating to help protect your skull and brain.
In order for the person with a concussion to receive the best follow-up treatment, a collaborative team approach is required. This means that the person with a concussion, parents and/or guardians, health care providers, school staff and coaches are all involved in concussion care.
It’s important that parents have open lines of communications with their child’s school in order to help coordinate their progressive return to learning and physical activities.
For more information about concussions including symptoms, what to expect and the recovery process please click the links below:
- Tool to Identify a Possible Concussion (New version arriving soon!)
- Documentation of Medical Examination (New version arriving soon!)
- Concussion Recognition Tool
- Concussion Guide for Parents
- Concussion Guide for Athletes
- Concussion Guide for Teachers
- Concussion Guide for Coaches and Trainers
- Return to Cognitive and Physical Exertion Protocol (New version arriving soon!)
- Return to Physical Activity Plan (New version arriving soon!)
- Return to Learn Plan (New version arriving soon!)
If you require more information about these concussion resources, please contact the NB Trauma Program at NBTrauma@Horizonnb.ca. If you think you, your child, your student or athlete may have a concussion, please seek a consultation with a physician or a nurse practitioner as soon as possible.
Injury Prevention Dates:
Below is a list of brain injury prevention dates. Make sure to add them to your calendar.
- March 12-18, 2018 – Brain Awareness Week
- May 1-7, 2018 – National Summer Safety Week
- June 2018– Brain Injury Awareness Month
- June 5-18, 2018 – National Safe Kids Week
- July 5, 2018 – National Injury Prevention Day
- October 29 – November 2, 2018 – Canadian Patient Safety Week
Concussion Resources for Health Care Professionals
Below is the Concussion Awareness Kit for healthcare professionals. With the support of a multidisciplinary team of experienced healthcare professionals from New Brunswick, the NB Trauma Program has compiled the most up to date evidence-based concussion information for the assessment and management of patients with a concussion.
The kit contains:
- Guidebook: Concussion guidebook for healthcare professionals (New version arriving soon!)
- Guidelines: Concussion guidelines for physicians
- Assessment Tools: SCAT5 and CHILD-SCAT3
- Checklist: Post-concussion symptom checklist
- Clinics: Concussion clinics in New Brunswick (New version arriving soon!)
- Protocols: Return to Cognitive and Physical Exertion (New version arriving soon!)
This post is also available in: French