Know The Signs Of Concussion

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are as many as 3.8 million sports- and recreation-related concussions in the United States every year. While concussions are a risk in school sports with frequent collisions, such as football, any athletic environment can be dangerous. A CT scan or MRI often cannot detect a concussion, defined as a hard blow or bump to the head or to the body that makes the head whip around. The athlete may not even lose consciousness.

Read to learn the signs of a concussion and how GMC is helping athletes through the ImPACT Concussion Management Program.

Leading the Way in Sports Medicine
We are the only hospital in Georgia to offer ImPACT concussion testing countywide—and we're doing it for no fee. Our goal is to reduce the chance of follow-up concussions, thus helping the student athletes’ performance both on the field and in the classroom. 
For more information about the ImPACT program in general, please download this informational PDF.

Know the Signs
Watch for any changes in behavior or personality. The athlete may appear stunned, confused, clumsy or forgetful; be sensitive to light and noise or have blurry vision; vomit, feel dizzy, groggy or confused; or have problems concentrating or remembering things. See a doctor immediately and stay off the playing field. Another injury to the head will compound the symptoms.

It’s a gut-wrenching feeling to see your child’s head smack the court after a fall in basketball or get elbowed in the temple by another kid charging the plate in baseball. And even if he or she doesn’t lose consciousness, any sign of a concussion should be taken seriously. Immediate symptoms include:
  • Change in alertness
  • Extreme sleepiness
  • Bad headache
  • Confusion
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Seizure
Anyone who has these symptoms should be taken to the emergency room. But sometimes symptoms of a concussion don’t show up until 24 to 72 hours later. Be on the lookout for these additional symptoms:
  • Feeling dazed and confused
  • Difficulty concentrating, thinking or making decisions
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty with coordination or balance
  • Trouble remembering things, particularly what happened right before or after the injury
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech or incoherence
  • Being anxious or irritable
Most children recover from a concussion within a couple of weeks. During this time, they need to let their brains heal and avoid demanding cognitive tasks such as attending school and high-stakes testing (like the SAT), as well as participating in sports, driving or working.

Talk to Your Athlete About Concussion
Teens may be reluctant to report symptoms of a concussion for fear they’ll miss a game or other event. To start the conversation with your athlete, watch a video together from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit


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