A concussion is a common pediatric and adolescent injury. While much attention is paid to adults who play professional sports, the majority of sports-related concussions happen in children and adolescents. For high school sports, about 1 in 20 to 1 in 30 athletes will sustain a concussion per season. This means that on average one to three players per team will sustain a concussion during the season.
As youth sports coaches, you are part of the first line of defense in recognizing a concussion and preventing further injury
Concussion awareness is an important aspect of youth sports for many reasons. Coaches of youth sports should consider:
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that affects the way the brain functions. Concussions used to be referred to as a “ding” or “having your bell rung,” and were brushed off as “no big deal” and a normal part of playing sports. However, we now know more about concussions and understand that any suspected concussion must be taken seriously.
A concussion is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body where forces of the hit are transmitted to the head, causing the brain to literally shake inside the skull. It was once believed that a player had to lose consciousness or be “knocked out” to have a concussion. This is a not true! In fact, fewer than 10 percent of all players with concussions actually lose consciousness.
Concussions are different from other sports injuries such as sprains, strains and broken bones, which are structural injuries that you can see with your eyes, feel with your hands or see on an X-ray. A concussion is a problem with function, not structure; therefore, concussions cannot be seen on a CT scan or MRI. A concussion is a disruption of how the brain works — and often an athlete with a concussion may look physically OK. What a concussion looks like is an athlete who is not functioning normally.
In this section, you will find information about:
Contact your child’s primary care doctor for evaluation.
Sports Medicine and Performance Center
Pediatric Trauma Center