What is a Concussion?
A concussion can result from a blow or sudden jarring to the head, face or neck. Concussions often happen after hitting your head, being in a car accident or after a sporting injury.
A concussion is a brain injury that cannot be seen on routine x-rays, CT scans or MRIs. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the first, can increase the chances for long term effects. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in brain swelling or permanent brain damage. It can even be fatal.
What are the signs & symptoms?
Following a concussion, individuals may experience many different signs and symptoms. It is important to remember that some symptoms may appear right away and some may appear many days later.
· Headache or “pressure” in head
· Nausea or vomiting
· Balance problems or dizziness
· Double or blurry vision
· Sensitivity to light and/or noise
· Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy
· Concentration or memory problems
· Just not “feeling right” or is “feeling down”
Be alert for symptoms that worsen over time. Seek medical attention if you experience:
·One pupil larger than the other
· Drowsiness or cannot be awakened
· A headache that gets worse but does not go away
· Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination
· Repeated vomiting or nausea
· Slurred speech
· Convulsions or seizures
· Difficulty recognizing people or places
· Increasing confusion, restlessness, or agitation
· Unusual behaviour
· Loss of consciousness (even a brief loss of consciousness should be taken seriously)
What you should do if you think you have a concussion:
1. Immediately remove yourself from the activity and tell someone, whether it be a coach, employer or family member.
2. Seek medical attention right away.
3. The most important treatment is rest. Take the time to get better.
The signs and symptoms of a concussion often last for 7-10 days but may last much longer. Previous concussions may increase the time required to heal. It is important to always check with your doctor before returning to physical activity.
If I am at a City of London recreation program or facility, what will staff do if they witness me (or my child) hit my head?
Staff are not required, nor expected, to diagnose a suspected concussion.
If staff person who is responsible for your program, or working at the facility, witnesses someone hit their head against a hard surface (such as a direct collision with another person, the wall, ground, arena ice or floor), staff will provide the injured person (or parent/guardian) with a ‘Concussion Brochure’ (see link on right hand side of screen). If the injured person is hurt during a scheduled City of London program, or at a City of London facility, is witnessed by a City of London employee, and the program time is not yet complete, it will be suggested and/or encourage that the injured person stop regular activity if they are feeling unwell.
Concussion brochures will be placed in all City owned recreation facilities, and available through Supervisors/staff that are responsible for Spectrum programs.
At the time of injury, staff are expected to continue regular protocol of completing a standard City of London ‘incident/injury report’, and forwarding to their Supervisor for follow up.