Concussion :: Nationwide Children's Hospital


What is a concussion?

  • A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that disrupts its normal function.
  • Concussions affect mental stamina and function, causing the brain to work longer and harder to complete even simple tasks.
  • A temporary condition, which most kids make a full recovery, if handled properly.

What causes a concussion?

  • Bump, blow or jolt directly to the head.
  • Any fall or hit to the body causing the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.  A whiplash type of injury. 

What are the symptoms?

  • Loss of consciousness – may or may not happen.  Occurs only 10% of the time.
  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting.
  • Dizziness/balance problems.
  • Sensitivity to light and/or noise.
  • Fatigue, sleeping more or less than usual.
  • Irritability.
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Feeling mentally foggy.

What can I do to feel better?

  • Remove from play immediately and do not allow any same day return-to-play.
  • Physical Rest - Avoid physical activities, such as practices, games, and gym class.
  • Mental Rest – Avoid TV, video games, computer use, text messaging, and loud music.
  • Take Tylenol for headaches; do not use aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Eat a light diet.

When should I see a medical professional?

  • Immediately if any symptoms become rapidly worse or the following symptoms begin:
    • Severe/increased headache.
    • Sudden vision changes or unequal pupils.
    • Unusual/increased drowsiness.
    • Projectile or repeated vomiting.
    • Abrupt personality changes.
    • Sudden loss of consciousness or inability to wake up.
  • Under Ohio’s Concussion Law (HB143), all athletes sustaining a concussion must be evaluated and cleared by a physician or other licensed medical provider before returning to practice and competition. 

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Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000