Youth Sports & Concussions for Coaches
CONCUSSIONS: THE FACTS
All concussions are a brain injury.
All concussions are serious.
Concussions can occur without loss of consciousness.
Concussions can occur in any sport.
Recognition and proper management of concussions when they
first occur can help prevent further injury or even death.
How can I Recognize a Possible Concussion?
To help recognize a concussion, you should watch for the
following two things among your athletes: (1) A forceful
bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that results in rapid
movement of the head AND (2) any change in the athlete's behavior,
thinking, or physical functioning.
What Should I do If a Concussion Occurs?
If you suspect that an athlete has a concussion, implement your
4-step action plan:
(1) Remove the athlete from play. Look for signs and
symptoms of a concussion if your athlete has experienced a bump or
blow to the head or body. When in doubt, keep the athlete out
(2) Ensure that the athlete is evaluated by a health care
professional experienced in evaluating for a concussion. Do
not try to judge the severity of the injury yourself. Health
care professionals have a number of methods that they can use to
assess the severity of concussions. As a coach, recording the
following information can help health care professionals in
assessing the athlete after the injury: cause of the injury
and force of the hit or blow to the head or body; any loss of
consciousness (passed out/knocked out) and if so, for how long; any
memory loss immediately following the injury; any seizures
immediately following the injury; number of previous concussions
(3) Inform the athlete's parents or guardians about the possible
concussion and give them the fact sheet on concussion. Make sure
they know that the athlete should be seen by a health care
professional experienced in evaluating for concussion.
(4) Keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury and until
a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for
concussion, says they are symptom-free and it's OK to return to
Why Should I be Concerned About Concussions?
Most athletes with a concussion will recover quickly and
fully. But for some athletes, signs and symptoms of
concussion can last for days, weeks, or longer. If an athlete
has a concussion, his or her brain needs time to heal. A
repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the
first-usually within a short time period (hours, days, weeks)-can
slow recovery or increase the chances for long-term problems.
In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in brain swelling or
permanent brain damage. It can even be fatal.
Treatment: Each Concussion is Unique!
At PHOENIX, we understand that no two concussion cases are the
same. Therefore, our evaluation and plans-of-care are
specifically designed to address the specific need of each
individual who has sustained a concussion. Treatment of
post-concussive syndrome in general will focus on symptom
reduction, patient education, and promoting a return-to-previous
lifestyle function. Treatment most often includes elements
of: manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, vestibular
rehabilitation and strength and endurance training.
Call PHOENIX for more information on how concussion
rehabilitation can help you or someone you know.