SYSA Concussion Information Page
Concussions can be difficult to diagnose, in part because symptoms can be subtle. Sometimes you'll notice that your child may be unusually tired, they "just don't seem like themselves", or they're bothered by loud noises or bright lights. Other symptoms are more obvious, such as vomiting or the inability to answer questions. It's important to remember that your child may not be able to recognize and/or verbalize their own symptoms, especially if they are young. And to make it even more complicated, symptoms may not show up for hours or even days. For older children, they may intentionally hide their symptoms because they want to get back in the game or to appear “tough”. The best preparation is to be informed. Please take the time to review the following.
For the complete SYSA Concussion Policy click here
If a concussion is suspected - make sure your child is immediately removed from activity. When in doubt, sit them out. Don't allow anyone, young or old, to return to play without written medical authorization from a medical professional trained in the diagnosis and management of concussion.
Determine if emergency help is needed
Most concussions resolve within a few days or weeks, and emergency help is required in very few instances. However, if your child has suffered a concussion, it is important to observe them carefully until they have been cleared to return to unrestricted physical and cognitive activity by a medical professional. If any of the following signs/symptoms appear at any time, call for emergency help immediately:
- Headaches that worsen
- Neck pain
- Very drowsy, can't be awakened
- Repeated vomiting
- Increasing confusion or irritability
- Weakness, numbness in arms and legs
- Unable to recognize people/places, less responsive than usual
Coaches: Contact a parent/guardian
Many times symptoms will appear minutes, hours, or even days after an injury. Parents must know that their child may have suffered a concussion and the typical signs/symptoms. Most concussed athletes go home to parents who are ill-equipped to deal with a brain injury. Education is a must.
Return to play...gradually
After all physical symptoms have resolved and a medical provider has give your child permission to return to play, an international panel of concussion experts recommends having them follow a gradual protocol that increases physical stress incrementally. This is a good way to make sure symptoms have truly resolved. If symptoms return during this process, it is likely that more healing time is required and you should consult your medical provider.