If an athlete is suspected of having suffered a concussion, the first step is that he or she be removed from the game or practice and refrain from any type of physical activity until being evaluated and cleared by a qualified medical professional. If the athlete is then diagnosed with a concussion, it is important to watch his or her behavior very closely for the next several days. If any of the following symptoms appear, you should take the person to the emergency room in case a more serious brain injury was suffered and emergency treatment or precautions are necessary:
- Headache that gets worse and does not go away
- Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Slurred speech
- Appears very drowsy or cannot be awakened
- One pupil is larger than the other
- Convulsions or seizures
- Cannot recognize people or places
- Getting more and more confused, restless, or agitated
- Unusual behavior
- Loses consciousness, for even a brief period of time
- One Week After a Concussion
Though the first two days following a concussion are arguably the most important time to be watching an athlete’s behavior, the entire week following the concussion should not be downplayed. If you notice any of the following symptoms during the seven days after a concussion, note the time, day, and severity of the symptom and communicate the information to the athletic trainer or physician. The information will help them determine the severity of the concussion and form a care plan before the athlete returns to play.
- Neck pain
- Dizziness or balance problems
- Trouble sleeping
- Excessive sleeping
- Light sensitivity
- Noise sensitivity
- Visual disturbances
- Feeling “in a fog”
- Memory problems
- Concentration problems
- Personality changes
- Difficulty in school or studying at home
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