- An estimated 4 million people under age 18 sustain a head injury annually. Of these approximately 52,000 die and 265,000 are hospitalized.
- An estimated 290,000 sports and recreation related concussions occur each year.
- Students who have had at least one concussion are at increased risk for another concussion. In New York State in 2009, approximately. 50,500 children under the age of 19 visited the emergency room for a traumatic brain injury and of those approximately 3,000 were hospitalized.
Symptoms of a concussion are the result of a temporary change in the brain’s function. In most cases, the symptoms of a concussion generally resolve over a short period of time; however, in some cases, symptoms will last for weeks or longer. Children and adolescents are more susceptible to concussions and take longer than adults to recover.
It is imperative that any student who is suspected of having a concussion is removed from athletic activity (e.g. recess, PE class, sports) and remains out of such activities until evaluated and cleared to return to activity by a physician.
Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Decreased or absent memory of events prior to or immediately after the injury or difficulty retaining new information.
- Confusion or appears dazed
- Headache or head pressure
- Loss of consciousness
- Balance difficulties, dizziness, or clumsy movements
- Double or blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light and/or sound
- Nausea, vomiting and/or loss of appetite
- Irritability, sadness or other changes in personality
- Feeling sluggish, foggy or light-headed
- Concentration or focusing problems
- Fatigue and/or sleep issues – sleeping more or less than usual
Students who develop any of the following signs, or if signs and symptoms worsen, should be seen and evaluated immediately at the nearest hospital emergency room.
- Headaches that worsen
- Looks drowsy and/or cannot be awakened
- Repeated vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Unable to recognize people or places
- Weakness or numbing in arms or legs, facial drooping
- Unsteady gait
- Change in pupil size in one eye
- Significant irritability
- Any loss of consciousness
- Suspicion for skull fracture: blood draining from ear or clear fluid from the nose