Concussions

[kuh n-kuhsh-uh n]

Diagram of human head

Don’t get in over your head and ignore a concussion. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. TBIs can also happen when a fall or blow to the body makes the head and brain move quickly back and forth. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or a mild bump on the head can be serious. While most people with a concussion feel better within a couple of weeks, some will have symptoms that last for months or even longer. People with a concussion need to be seen by a medical professional. Getting help soon after the injury can help speed your recovery.

Quiz

Key Facts & Prevention Tips

  • Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around.
  • Athletes with a possible concussion should be immediately removed from play. They should not return to play the same day of the injury, and until cleared by an appropriate medical professional.
  • Be sure the surface under your child’s playground is made of soft material, such as mulch or sand.

Media

Soccerball and shoes

Contact Sports

Contact sports contributed to almost half (45%) of all emergency department visits for a sports- or recreation-related TBI in 2016.

Two boys playing football

Student Athletes

As many as 2.5 million high school students reported at least one concussion in the preceding 12 months while playing a sport or being physically active.

Kids running into school

Back to School

Any student could take a spill, knock his/her head, and get a concussion in any number of school settings ranging from the hallway, the playground, the cafeteria, and beyond. Know your concussion ABC's; Assess the situation, Be alert for signs and symptoms, Contact a health care professional.

Mother securing baby gate

Child Safety Gate

Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around.

Young girl on slide

Playground Safety

Be sure the surface on your child's playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood mulch or sand.

Girls basketball team

Concussion Action Plan

Make sure your child's school and/or sports league has a concussion action plan.

More at CDC.gov

Page last reviewed: August 14, 2019