Know the signs and symptoms of concussion; and if you suspect a concussion, remove the child from play immediately.

Physical activity is essential to the healthy development of children and young people and should be encouraged. It is important however, to be aware of the risk of sports concussion so that children may be given the best care when needed.

A concussion is an injury to the brain caused by sudden strong movement of the brain against the skull. This is caused by a collision with another person or object. A child does not need to be knocked out (lose consciousness) to have concussion. Most concussion injuries do not involve any loss of consciousness, so it is important to be on the lookout for warning signs which could appear immediately after a bump to the head or body, or over the following hours and days.

Responding to concussion

If a child has any of the signs or symptoms listed then they should be assessed by a doctor. It is important to note when, for how long, and how bad they are so you can tell the doctor. Signs and symptoms may not show up until 24-48 hours after the head injury.

Signs observed by others:

  • Appearing dazed or stunned
  • Repeating questions
  • Can’t recall events before or after the injury
  • Confused about events
  • Showing personality or behaviour changes

Symptoms reported by the child:

  • Headache or “pressure” in the head
  • Dizziness and/or loss of balance
  • Feeling tired (fatigued)
  • Sensitivity to light and/or noise
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Does not “feel right”
  • Feeling more emotional, e.g. sad or nervous
  • Trouble thinking clearly, concentrating or remembering

See the Facts Infographic in the download section below for more facts on concussion in children.

Two posters are availabe in the downloads section below to help teach and learn some common signs and symptoms of concussion:

Return to activity- information for parents and coaches

It is important to inform your child’s school and sporting coach or club that they have had a head injury. Children and young people should not participate in school or club sports or exercise until they are completely symptom free and cleared to do so by a doctor. Following a concussion your child’s reaction times and thinking may be slower putting them at risk of further injury.

A number of tools are available in the download section below to help ensure a safe return to activity following a concussion.

Return to school- information for parents and teachers

It is important to let a child's school know about a child’s head injury. Sometimes children who have had a head injury find it hard to concentrate in school and may have a return or worsening of symptoms such as headache or nausea. They may experience fatigue and become tired much quicker. Children and adolescents should stay home from school if any of their symptoms get worse when they are in class.

After a child has been back at school for one month, we suggest talking with the teacher about whether there are ongoing changes in the child’s performance since the head injury. Any concerns should be discussed with the child’s GP.

A number of tools are available in the download section provide more information to help a child safely return to school after a concussion.


Please browse our range of free information and management tools which are available for order from Kids Health or from our download section below.