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What is a concussion?

Concussions are the most common form of brain injury.

A concussion can be caused by a direct or indirect hit to the head or body, which causes the brain to suddenly shift or shake inside the skull. This could happen in a car collision, a sports collision or simply slipping on an icy surface.  

The result creates a disturbance in the function of the brain. That disturbance can cause symptoms like: headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion and difficulty concentrating, fatigue, irritability, depression, and anxiety. 

After a concussion, most (8 out of 10) people will recover within a few weeks. The key to a quick and complete recovery is to take immediate action as soon as the concussion happens. 

Untreated concussions can affect a child for many years. The effects can cause brain malfunction, including a lack of focus and difficulty learning and remembering. Also, the risk for longer-term problems increases if a child has a second concussion. Do not send a child back into a game or activity if head trauma has occurred.

Hiding symptoms of concussion and continuing to play in sports can result in subsequent injury, delayed recovery, delayed access to treatment and risk of catastrophic injury.