Suggested Guidelines for Management of Concussion in Sports

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that interferes with normal brain function . An athlete does not have to lose consciousness (be “knocked out”) to have suffered a concussion.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Concussion Include:

  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Is confused about assignment or position
  • Forgets an instruction
  • Is unsure of game, score or opponent
  • Moves clumsily answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)
  • Shows mood, behavior or personality changes
  • Can't recall events prior to hit or fall
  • Can't recall events after hit or fall
  • Headaches or "pressure" in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light Sensitivity to noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Does not "feel right" or is "feeling down"

Suggested Concussion Management:

  1. No athlete should return to play (RTP) or practice on the same day of a concussion.
  2. Any athlete suspected of having a concussion should be evaluated by an appropriate health-care professional that day.
  3. Any athlete with a concussion should be medically cleared by an appropriate health-care professional prior to resuming participation in any practice or competition.
  4. After medical clearance, RTP should follow a step-wise protocol with provisions for delayed RTP based upon return of any signs or symptoms at rest, while doing school work or with physical activity.

For further details please see the “NFHS Suggested Guidelines for Management of Concussion” at www.nfhs.org .