Parent Concussion FAQs
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that changes the way the brain normally works. A concussion is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.
If my child has a concussion, are there any "concussion signs" that I should be aware of?
If you observe the following things from your child, he/she may have a concussion:
- Appears dazed or stunned
- Is confused about an assignment or position
- Forgets an instruction
- Is unsure of game, score or opponent
- Moves clumsily
- Answers questions slowly
- Loses consciousness (even briefly)
- Show mood, behavior or personality changes
- Can't recall events prior to hit or fall
- Can't recall events after hit or fall
If my child has a concussion, what symptoms will he/she be experiencing?
- Headache or pressure in head
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Double or blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to noise
- Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy
- Concentration or memory problems
- Just not "feeling right" or "feeling down"
If I suspect my child has a concussion, what should I do?
- Remove your child from play.
- Ensure that your child is evaluated by a health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussions. Do not try to judge the seriousness of the injury yourself.
- Keep your child out of play the day of the injury and until a health care professional, experience in evaluating concussions, says they are symptom-free and OK to return to play.
- Tell all of your child's coaches about any recent concussions. Coaches should know if your child has had a recent concussion in any sport. Your child's coach may not know about a concussion your child received in another sport or activity unless you tell the coach.
If my child didn't lose consciousness, does that mean they don't have a concussion?
No, most concussions occur without a loss of consciousness.
Why will my child not be able to play because of his/her concussion?
If a player has a concussion, his/her brain needs time to heal. While your child's brain is still healing, he/she is much more likely to have another concussion. Repeat concussions can increase the time it takes to recover. In rare cases, repeat concussions in young athletes can result in brain swelling or permanent damage to their brain.
Can I help prevent my child from getting a concussion?
Every sport is different, but there are steps your children can take to prevent themselves from a concussion:
- Ensure that they follow their coach's rules for safety and the rules of the sport.
- Encourage them to practice good sportsmanship at all times.
- Make sure they wear the right protective equipment for their activity.
- Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
If my child suffers a concussion, how long will it take him/her to recover?
Concussions affect people differently. While most athletes with a concussion recover quickly and fully, some will have symptoms that last for days, or even weeks. Depend on a medical professional to clear your child before they return to play after a concussion.
Should my child avoiding heading the ball to prevent a concussion?
AYSO does not recommend heading below the age of 10 - if your child is 10 or below, he/she should not be practicing heading in games or practices. However, if your child is of age to begin heading (and feels comfortable doing so), if he/she is heading properly, concussions should not be a major concern. Learn more about AYSO's heading policy and guidelines for proper heading.
Where can I learn more on concussions?
To learn more, click here.