A heads-up on concussions.

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and damaging brain cells.

While most people with a concussion feel better within a couple of days, sometimes symptoms can last for weeks, or even longer. Concussions should be taken seriously. Think you’ve experienced a concussion? Then see a medical professional right away. Getting help soon after the injury can help speed your recovery.


Want to test your concussion smarts? Take our True / False Concussion Quiz.


If you’ve had a previous concussion, you’re more likely to experience another one.

TRUE

Those who’ve had a concussion in the past are also at risk of having another one. They may also find that it takes longer to recover from another concussion.

Even if a person gets hit on the head, as long as they’re awake and responsive there's no need to worry or seek medical care.

FALSE

The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be difficult to sort out. Early on, problems may be missed by the person with the concussion, family members or doctors. People may look fine even though they’re acting or feeling differently. A healthcare professional can decide how serious the concussion is and whether treatment is required.

Concussions are always caused by a blow or hit to the head.

FALSE

Concussions can occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Even a “ding” or “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.

The number of sports-related concussions among kids and teens are on the decline in the United States.

FALSE

During the last decade, emergency room visits for sports and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries – including concussions among children and teens – increased by 60%.

Even a “mild” concussion can be serious.

TRUE

Healthcare professionals may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. But their effects can be serious and impact someone’s quality of life. A concussion may lead to thinking, sleeping and balance problems and other symptoms. Every concussion is a brain injury and should be taken seriously.