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Concussion Information Series Chapter I: What is a Concussion?

Categories: Living with Brain Injury, Being a Caregiver

What exactly is a concussion? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) a concussion is defined as: “a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Sometimes a concussion can even occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth (like a severe whiplash).” It is also referred to as a type of mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI). The definition of concussion itself can be scary! Take a deep breath. You are not alone. In your effort to help your student you may come across incorrect information when searching the internet. Use this guide together with support from a healthcare professional trained in concussion management. This will keep you and your student on track during the recovery. Let’s take this one step at a time … 

Important take-away points

  • You are not alone in the recovery process.
  • Concussion is an injury to the brain, not just ‘seeing stars’.
  • It is first important to verify that a concussion has occurred. If a concussion has occurred there are things you can do to help with the recovery. If a concussion has not occurred then there is no need to worry.
  • Most students and athletes will recover completely within 2-3 weeks if given the proper periods of rest and a gradual return to activities.
  • After sustaining a concussion it is very important to avoid any activity that places the student at risk of sustaining another concussion.

Concussions are not new in the medical world, but their occurrence is gaining a more noteworthy stance in the sports community. Click on the following links to learn about the current perspective on concussion.

A Parent’s Perspective

A Teacher’s Perspective


Chapter II: Common Symptoms of Concussion