What is a concussion?
A concussion is a brain injury that:
- Is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body.
- Can change the way your brain normally works.•Can occur during practices or games in any sport or recreational activity.
- Can happen even if you haven’t been knocked out.
- Can be serious even if you’ve just been “dinged” or “had your bell rung.”
All concussions are serious. A concussion can affect your ability to do schoolwork and other activities (such as playing video games, working on a computer,studying, driving, or exercising). Most people with a concussion get better, but it is important to give your brain time to heal.
What are the symptoms of a concussion?
You can’t see a concussion, but you might notice one or more of the symptoms listed below or that you“don’t feel right” soon after, a few days after, or even weeks after the injury.
- Headache or “pressure” in head
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Double or blurry vision
- Bothered by light or noise
- Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy
- Difficulty paying attention
- Memory problems
What should I do if I think I have a concussion?
Tell your coaches and your parents.Never ignore a bump or blow to the head even if you feel fine. Also,tell your coach right away if you think you have a concussion or if one of your teammates might have a concussion.
- Get a medical check-up. A doctor or other healthcare professional can tell if you have a concussion and when it is OK to return to play.
- Give yourself time to get better. If you have a concussion, your brain needs time to heal. While your brain is still healing, you are much more likely to have another concussion. Repeat concussions can increase the time it takes for you to recover and may cause more damage to your brain. It is important to rest and not return to play until you get the OK from your health care professional that you are symptom-free.
How can I prevent a concussion?
Every sport is different, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
- Use the proper sports equipment, including personal protective equipment. In order for equipment to protect you, it must be:
- The right equipment for the game, position, or activity
- Worn correctly and the correct size and fit
- Used every time you play or practice
- Follow your coach’s rules for safety and the rules of the sport.
- Practice good sportsmanship at all times.
If you think you have a concussion:
Don’t hide it. Report it. Take time to recover.
It’s better to miss one game than the whole season.
For more information and to order additional materials free-of-charge, visit: www.cdc.gov/Concussion.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
Sudden cardiac arrest can occur even in athletes who are in peak shape. Approximately 500 deaths are attributed to sudden cardiac arrest in athletes each year in the United States. Sudden cardiac arrest can affect all levels of athletes, in all sports, and in all age levels. The majority of cardiac arrests are due to congenital (inherited) heart defects. However, sudden cardiac arrest can also occur after a person experiences an illness which has caused an inflammation to the heart or after a direct blow to the chest. Once a cardiac arrest occurs, there is very little time to save the athlete, so identifying those at risk before the arrest occurs is a key factor in prevention.
There may not be any noticeable symptoms
before a person experiences loss of
consciousness and a full cardiac arrest (no pulse
and no breathing).
Warning signs can include a complaint of:
Unusual Shortness of Breath
Racing or Irregular Heartbeat
Fainting or Passing Out
EMERGENCY SIGNS – Call EMS (911)
If a person experiences any of the following signs, call EMS (911) immediately:
If an athlete collapses suddenly during
If a blow to the chest from a ball, puck
or another player precedes an athlete’s
complaints of any of the warning signs
of sudden cardiac arrest
If an athlete does not look or feel right
and you are just not sure
How can I help prevent a sudden cardiac arrest?
Daily physical activity, proper nutrition, and adequate sleep are all important aspects of lifelong
health. Additionally, you can assist by:
Knowing if you have a family history of
sudden cardiac arrest (onset of heart
disease in a family member before the
age of 50 or a sudden, unexplained
death at an early age)
Telling your health care provider during
your pre-season physical about any
unusual symptoms of chest discomfort,
shortness of breath, racing or irregular
heartbeat, or feeling faint, especially if
you feel these symptoms with physical
Taking only prescription drugs that are
prescribed to you by your health care
Being aware that the inappropriate use
of prescription medications or energy
drinks can increase your risk
Being honest and reporting symptoms
of chest discomfort, unusual shortness
of breath, racing or irregular heartbeat,
or feeling faint
What should I do if I think I am developing warning signs that may lead to sudden cardiac arrest?
1. Tell an adult – your parent or guardian, your coach, your athletic trainer or your school nurse
2. Get checked out by your health care provider
3. Take care of your heart
4. Remember that the most dangerous thing you can do is to do nothing
Developed and Reviewed by the Indiana Department of Education’s Sudden Cardiac Arrest Advisory Board (1-7-15)