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Is It a Concussion? Six Ways to Tell

Fall sports season is here and with it, a reminder to play safe and understand the dangers of concussion.

“A concussion occurs when normal brain activity is altered following a direct impact
to the head or body that transmits forces to the head,” said Douglas Aukerman, MD,
a sports medicine physician at The SAM (Samaritan Athletic Medicine).

If your child takes a hit during any activity, watch for the following symptoms:

1. Headache or sensitivity to light or noise
2. Confusion or slurred speech
3. Dizziness or unsteady walking
4. Nausea or vomiting
5. Fatigue or dazed appearance
6. Loss of consciousness

If your child is knocked unconscious, he or she should be taken to the nearest emergency department. If you suspect your child has a concussion, get him or her evaluated within 24 hours.

Symptoms may develop hours or days after the injury, so keep a close watch on your child after a hard hit.

“Typically, concussions will resolve relatively quickly on their own, but clinicians who specialize in treating concussions can offer several tips on speeding recovery,” said Dr. Aukerman. “The clinician can also rule out other, more serious injuries.”