Signs and Symptoms of Concussions in Youth Athletes

2012-06-07T19:58:26-04:00Health & Safety, Protecting Your Kids|

Unfortunately, concussions in youth sports, especially full contact sports like football and hockey, are not an uncommon occurrence. A concussion can be caused by a direct blow to the head or even from a blow to the body that causes the head to unexpectedly snap back. Contrary to what some may believe, a player doesn’t have to be completely knocked out in order to suffer from a concussion. In fact, most concussions occur without a loss of consciousness. And it doesn’t take major hit to do damage either; even a relatively “small” collision with another player can result in a concussion.

Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms a youth athlete might have after suffering a concussion:

  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Headache or “pressure” in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Moves clumsily
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly) or groggy
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion

Keep in mind that some athletes might not feel or report the side effects of a concussion until well after the game. When it doubt, take the player out of the game. If a youth athlete is describe the imagesuffering from a concussion the last thing you want is them taking another blow to the head.

Here are some really interesting statistics about concussions among youth athletes:

  • Among 15 to 24 year-olds, sports are second leading cause of concussions (car crashes is #1).
  • An estimated 300,000 sports-related concussions occur annually in the United States alone
  • Football has the highest concussion rate of any youth sport.
  • Girls’ soccer has the highest concussion rate among girls’ sports and the second-highest rate of concussions in gender-neutral sports.
  • Studies have found that girls have a significantly higher risk of suffering from a concussion compared with boys in the same sport.

The CDC has put out a bunch of great fact sheets and resources for coaches, parents and youth athletes about concussions. Click here for more information.