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

Physical activity is important 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 for you to record these symptoms. Note when they occurred, how long they lasted, and how severe they were 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
  • Problems remembering 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 / loss of balance
  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Numbness / tingling
  • Feeling tired (fatigued) / slowed down
  • Visual problems (e.g. double vision)
  • Sensitivity to light / noise
  • Drowsiness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Does not “feel right”
  • Feeling more emotional (e.g. sad or nervous)
  • Trouble thinking clearly, concentrating or remembering

Return to school and physical activity- information for parents, teachers and coaches

It is important to inform your child’s school and sporting coach or club about your child's head injury. Children and adolescents should not participate in school or physical activity until they are completely symptom free and cleared by a doctor to do so.

A number of tools are available in the download section below.