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What You Need to Know about Concussions: Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

We've all likely heard about concussions, and many of us have even had one. But, do you know what the symptoms are or what to do if you or someone you know has one? Here are five important things you need to know about these types of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

  1. You don't have to get hit in the head to get a concussion.

    While many concussions are caused by a bump or hit to the head, they can also happen when something causes the head or body to shake quickly back and forth. When something forces your head or body to move violently, your brain may hit your skull and cause a concussion.

  2. Most concussions do not involve a loss of consciousness.
  3. Many people believe that you have to black out to have a concussion. But, only a small amount of concussions result in a loss of consciousness. Concussion symptoms can include:

    • Headache
    • Dizziness
    • Blurred eyesight
    • Confusion
    • Upset stomach or throwing up
    • Slurred speech
    • Feeling tired, weak
  4. Concussion symptoms may not be apparent until days after the injury.

    Just because someone doesn't immediately start showing signs of having a concussion, does not mean they are in the clear. According to the National Institute of Health, concussion symptoms may not show up until a day or two after the injury. If you or someone you know shows signs of having a concussion you should go see your doctor right away.

  5. Anyone with a concussion should be kept out of play until they get the green light from their doctor, even if they feel better.

    It's very important to rest after a concussion so that your brain can heal. Even if you are feeling better, your brain may not be back to its normal functioning. Wait until your doctor says you can safely return to play, otherwise you run the chance of having a more serious brain injury than you began with.

  6. There is no foolproof way to prevent a concussion, but you can lower your risk for one.

    Here are some tips to lower your risk for getting a concussion:

    • Wear a helmet that fits
    • Wear your seatbelt every time you are in a car
    • Make your house safer for your children by putting up safety gates at stair cases and window guards
    • Learn how to identify concussion symptoms

    To learn more about TBIs and concussions, visit Be Smart. Be Well. There you will find real life stories, interviews with leading experts, and other resources on TBIs.

    Sources: CDC , National Institute of Health

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