Kidsafe NSW promotes child injury prevention and education in an effort to preserve and protect the lives of our children.

Children and Concussion - When in doubt, sit it out!

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30 Jul 2015

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead has launched an awareness campaign on the signs and symptoms of concussion after an alarming increase in child sports concussions. Sport and play are an important part of the healthy growth and development of children and young people, and they should be encouraged to participate. It is important however to be aware of concussion so that children may be given the best care when needed.

The Facts

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.

  • Sport related concussion rates in children have risen by 60% in the past decade.
  • Every week six children are seen with a concussion at the hospital’s Emergency Department.
  • For every one concussion seen there are 15 or more children whose injury goes unrecognised or untreated.
  • Only one in ten children with a concussion will lose 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.

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

Signs and Symptoms

If a concussion occurs or if you suspect a concussion during sport or play, the child should stop playing immediately and not return until cleared by a doctor. Recognising concussion and acting when it is suspected can prevent further injury and help with recovery. When in doubt, sit it out!

Signs and Symptoms Infographic

Two posters are availabe to help teach and learn some common signs and symptoms of concussion:

Concussion Signs and Symptoms Poster

Concussion Signs and Symptoms Infographic Poster

How to Respond to Concussion

 To learn about concussion, and how to recognise and respond to it, view these tools:

1. Mild Head Injury and Concussion Factsheet

2. Concussion Management On Field Tool - available as hard copy z card.

3. Concussion Signs and Symptoms Checklist

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.

The following tools may be used to help ensure a safe return to activity following a concussion:

1. Concussion Information Sheet for Coaches

2. Return to Activity (RTA) Plan Following Concussion for Children and Young People

3. Physical Activity Suggestions for Return to Activity (RTA) Plan

4. Return to Activity (RTA) Letter

For further information, click here


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