MSAD 58 Concussion Information

Concussion Information for Students and Families


MSAD 58 Concussion Information Sheet

A concussion is a brain injury and all brain injuries are serious.  They are caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or by a blow to another part of the body with the force transmitted to the head.  They can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works.  Even though most concussions are mild, all concussions are potentially serious and may result in complications including prolonged brain damage and death if not recognized and managed properly. In other words, even a “ding” or a bump on the head can be serious.  You can’ts see a concussion and most sports concussion occur without loss of consciousness.  Signs and symptoms of concussion may show up right after the injury or can take hours or days to fully appear.  If your student athlete reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms or signs of concussion, seek medical attention right away.

Symptoms may include one of more of the following:

  • Headaches
  • Pressure in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Blurred, double or fuzzy vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish or slowed down
  • Groggy or foggy feeling
  • Drowsiness
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • “Don’t feel right”
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Sadness
  • Nervousness of anxiety
  • Irritability
  • More emotional 
  • Confusion
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Repeating same question/comment
  • Amnesia

Signs observed by teammates, parents or coaches may include

  • Appears dazed
  • Vacant facial expression
  • Confused about assignment
  • Forgets rules/game plays
  • Is unsure of game, score opponent
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Shows behavior or personality changes
  • Can't recall events prior to hit
  • Can't recall events after hit
  • Seizures of convulsions
  • Any change in typical behavior or personality
  • Loses consciousness
  • Slurred speech

What can happen if my child keeps playing with a concussion or returns too soon?

Athletes with the signs and symptoms of concussion should be removed from play immediately.  Continuing to play with the signs and symptoms of concussion leave the young athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury.  There is an increased risk of significant damage from a concussion for a period of time after that concussion occurs, particularly if the athlete suffers another concussion before completely recovering from the first one.  This can lead to prolonged recovery, or even severe brain swelling (second impact syndrome) with devastating and even fatal consequences.  It is well known that adolescent or teenage athletes will often under report symptoms of injuries, and concussions are no different.  As a result, education of administrators, coaches, parents and students is the key for the student-athlete’s safety.  

What should I do if I think my child has suffered a concussion?

Any athlete even suspected of suffering a concussion should be removed from the game or practice immediately.  No athlete may return to activity after an apparent head injury or concussion, regardless of how mild it seems or how quickly symptoms clear, without medical clearance.  Close observation of the athlete should continue for several hours.  MSAD 58 requires that consistent and uniform implementation of well-established return to play concussion guidelines that have been recommended for several years and reflected in Board policy:

  • Any student suspected of having sustained a concussion or other head injury during a school-sponsored athletic activity including, but not limited to competition, practice, or scrimmage, must be removed from the activity immediately.
  • No student will be permitted to return to activity or to participate in any other school-sponsored athletic activity on the day of the suspected concussion.
  • Any student who is suspected of having sustained a concussion or other head injury shall be prohibited from further participation in school-sponsored athletic activities until s/he has been evaluated and received written medical clearance to do so from a licensed health care provider who is qualified and trained in concussion management.

You should inform your child’s coach or teacher if you think your child may have a concussion. Remember it is better to miss one game than the whole season.  And when in doubt, the athlete sits out. 

This documents is adapted from the CDC and 3rd International Conference on Concussion in Sports Consensus Statement (2009)

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