Concussion Information

  • What is a Concussion?


    A concussion is a brain injury, otherwise known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI).  A concussion is characterized by an onset ofimpairment of cognitive and/or physical functioning, and is caused by a blow to the head, face or neck, or a blow to the body that causes a sudden jarring of the head (i.e. a helmet to the head, being knocked to the ground). A concussion can occur with or without a loss of consciousness, and proper management is essential to the immediate safety and long-term outcomes of the injured individual.A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the first can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having longterm problems. In rare cases, repeat concussion can result in edema (brain swelling), permanent brain damage, and even death.


    What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion?

    Signs observed by teammates, coaches, parents/guardians include:

    1. Appears dazed or stunned

    2. Is confused about assignments and positions

    3. Forgets instructions and answers questions slowly or inaccurately

    4. Is unsure of game, score, or opponent

    5. Loss of balance/coordination and moves clumsily

    6. Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes

    7. Cannot recall events prior to hit or fall

    8. Cannot recall events after hit or fall


    Symptoms reported by athlete may include one or more of the following:

    1. Headache or “pressure” in head

    2. Nausea/vomiting

    3. Balance problems or dizziness

    4. Sensitivity to light or sound/noise

    5. Feeling sluggish, hazy, groggy, or foggy

    6. Difficulty with concentration, short-term    

           memory and/or confusion

    7. Double vision or changes in vision

    8. Irritability

    9. Just not “feeling right” or is “feeling down”



    How can you Help your Child Prevent a Concussion?


    Every sport is different, but there are steps your child can take to protect themselves from concussion:


    • Follow the coach’s rules for safety & the rules of the sport
    • To always practice good sportsmanship
    • Properly wear the right protective equipment that isrequired for their sport
    • Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion


    How can a concussion affect my child in the classroom? 


    A concussion can result in cognitive disturbances, in addition to physical symptoms. While recovering from a concussion, a student-athlete’s academic performance, or ability to tolerate an academic environment, may be affected. In order to facilitate recovery, a Licensed Healthcare Provider may make temporary academic adjustments, or accommodations.


    Effects of concussion that can be observed by a teacher, or in the classroom:


    • Difficulty tolerating the school environment/cafeteria/hallways  
    • Difficulty concentrating 
    • Difficulty remembering 
    • Falling asleep 
    • Head on desk 
    • Changes in academic performance
    • Trouble with test taking
    • ‘Daydreaming’
    • Less engaged in class and/or with classmates



    What should you do if you think your child has a concussion?


    1.  Seek medical attention right away. A licensed health care professional will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for your child to return to sports.

    2.    Keep your child out of play. Concussions take time to heal. Don’t let your child return to play 

    until an appropriate licensed health care professional gives clearance to return. Children who return to play toosoon, while the brain is still healing, risk a greater chance of having a second concussion. Second or later concussions can be very serious. This can lead to prolonged recovery, or even to severe brain swelling (second impact syndrome) with devastating and even fatal consequences.

    3.  Tell your child’s coach about any recent concussions. School personnel should be notified if your child had a recent concussion in any sport. Your child’s coach may not know about a concussion your child received in another sport or activity unless you tell the coach.


    Brief Overview of the Norfolk Public Schools Concussion Policy


    A student-athlete who sustains a concussion must complete all of the following prior to return to participation 

    in NPS athletics:

    1. Return to full participation in academic activities, without accommodations/adjustments
    2. Each stage of the NPS Concussion Graduated Return to play Protocol
    3. Receive clearance by a physician who has been trained in concussion management, as deemed necessary by the Athletic Trainer
    4. Receive final clearance from the school’s Athletic Trainer

    A full version of the Norfolk Public Schools Concussion Policy can be found in the Athletic Handbook for Parents and Athletes

    Looking for the Concussion Education Preparticiation Form? Click Here

Additional Resources