A concussion is a brain injury and should be taken seriously. Concussions can happen to anyone of any age. Learn about what happens when a student experiences a concussion, and what you can do to help them.
Below are a few examples of commonly asked questions regarding concussions. For the complete list, please visit the CBIRT website.
What Teachers Should Know
Common Signs and Symptoms
|Signs (observed by others)||Symptoms (reported by the student)|
The student did not lose consciousness. Does this mean the student does not have a concussion?
The student could have a concussion without losing consciousness. In fact, very few children lose consciousness when they sustain a concussion.
The student did not get hit in the head. Could s/he still have a concussion?
It is possible to sustain a concussion without being directly hit in the head. A concussion is most often caused by a direct blow to the head, but it can also result from body actions that snap the head forward or back, shaking the brain around in the skull hard enough to cause brain injury, such as a whiplash injury. Any action that results in the brain being bounced around can cause a concussion.
It did not appear that the student got hit that hard. Could they really have sustained a concussion?
Yes, a fairly light looking hit can result in a concussion, and a hit that appears to be hard or very forceful might not result in any symptoms at all. Many other factors affect the severity of injury (if any), including angle of hit, whether the student was prepared for the hit, etc.
Is a concussion always obvious right away?
Most of the time, signs or symptoms appear at the time of the injury. However, it's always possible that symptoms won't emerge until later (or that they will be subtle enough to be overlooked, especially if the student has also suffered a more visible injury such as a fracture or laceration.
For this reason, even if the student received immediate treatment from an athletic trainer, school nurse, EMT, or in the emergency room or urgent care, s/he must also see his/her regular doctor as soon as possible. S/he should be monitored closely for the next few days.
Questions? Contact Melissa McCart, TBI Teams Project Coordinator