What is a concussion?

Traumatic Brain Injury resulting in bump blow or jolt of the head causing the brain to move within the skull. Concussions cause changes in chemistry in the brain while healing. Change in brain chemistry causes increased sensitivity to stress or stimulus while recovering.

Concussions affect concentration, motor skills, speech, memory, coordination, balance, vision, sleep–all significant problems for student-athletes.


Importance of detection:

  • Adjust exertion: school, sport, hobbies, screen time.
  • Seek treatment early to improve outcomes.

Second impact syndrome: Sustains second concussive event while recovering from primary injury, rapid cerebral edema, 50%-100% mortality rate.

How are concussions diagnosed?

  • Change in: mood, balance, memory, coordination, sleep.
  • Difficulty in school
  • Impact testing: Preseason/baseline, after incident
  • Blood test
  • eye test
  • Monitoring intracranial pressure in traumatic brain injury.Smith M
  • Sideline testing: repeat digit sequence, recall word list at zero and five minutes, recall game events/current events, balance test.


Concussion: rest, visit doctor, repeat impact test, imaging, treatment to address: pain, ROM, Coordination/balance, conditioning, return to sport.

Importance of rest/activity modification, at home eye exercises

Limiting in school? What do we limit? What do we expect to see?

Limiting exertion, returning to modified practice. Trainer works with pt? Educate on tackling form, conditioning, coordination drills

Balance treatment, ocular treatment, manual therapy, specific exercises for strength/posture, coordination treatment,  importance of rest.

Parent Checklist

  • Verify the school nurse has been informed of your child's concussion.
  • Whenever you receive updated medical recommendations regarding your child's concussion, ensure the school nurse has received them.
  • Whenever changes are noticed in your child's condition, notify the school nurse.
  • If you have questions regarding academics, contact your child's school counselor.
  • If you have concerns regarding the implementation of concussion accommodations, contact your child's administrator.
  • If you have course specific concerns, start by contacting the teacher directly.  If not addressed, contact your child's administrator.
  • Typically the school counselor is your child's primary academic monitor, the nurse their medical monitor, and the principal oversees the entire operation.

If you would like to schedule a meeting with your child's concussion management team (CMT), you typically call the main phone number and request the clerical person who schedules the counselors and administrators.  Do not  show up at the school unannounced demanding to meet immediately as the school personnel are typically scheduled in meetings throughout the day with other parents and families who appropriately scheduled meetings.

Are there any advocacy groups for concussions?  A-Yes. BRAINSTEPS is another provided free of charge through the county based Intermediate Units Associated with your child's school.