Recognition

When a concussion is suspected, the first consideration should always be the athlete’s safety. An athlete must STOP playing immediately to preserve the brain’s functions and prevent further damage.

Coaches, athletic trainers, physicians or EMT personnel should use the concussion assessment tool — the SCORE Card “1” and “2” — on the sidelines and during the physician exam to evaluate an athlete suspected of a sustaining a head injury.

Parents, family members, coaches, athletic trainers, friends, teachers and the athletes themselves should be alert to the potential symptoms of a concussion immediately after an injury and during the next few days.

Signs Observed by Others

  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Is confused about assignment
  • Forgets plays
  • Is unsure of game, score or opponent
  • Moves clumsily or has slurred speech
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness
  • Shows behavior or personality changes
  • Cannot recall events prior to hit
  • Cannot recall events after hit

Signs Reported by Athlete

  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or fuzzy vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish or drowsy
  • Feeling foggy or groggy
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion