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Heads Up on Concussions


Concussions pose a significant injury risk, especially to children and young people. Concussions can happen at home, school or play. Typically, they result from: a blow to the head, face or neck; as well as a blow to the body which causes a sudden jarring of the head.

Concussions should not be viewed as minor events that are accepted as part of everyday play or sport. In reality, concussions are injuries to the brain that can have long lasting effects. They are serious enough to affect the way a child thinks and remembers things, and can cause a variety of other symptoms.

Signs/Symptoms of Concussions:

All of the following can be warning signs of a concussion: Loss of consciousness (but not always), seizures or convulsions; nausea and vomiting; headache; and/or drowsiness.

Know What to Do

  • If you suspect a concussion has occurred, your child should stop the activity right away.
  • A child should not be left alone, and should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible that day.
  • If your child is knocked out, call an ambulance immediately.
  • Concussions are treated with rest (both mental and physical). Before returning to an activity, consult with your health care provider regarding your child's recovery plan.

Prevention Tips

  • Know the safety rules of your child's sport.
  • Ensure the safety rules of the sport are enforced
  • Respect the mutual safety of others
  • Wear protective equipment
  • Wear a good quality, properly-fitting helmet for collision sports. Helmets don't prevent concussions, but can reduce the severity of a head injury.

Additional Resources

Parachute Canada - A leading organization for injury prevention in Canada. Provides various resources to help keep children and youth safe by changing the environments where they live, learn and play, including a comprehensive web-based tool kit on concussions.

A Parent's Guide to Dealing With Concussions - Parachute Canada

Concussion Guidelines for Parents/Caregivers - Parachute Canada

Concussion Guidelines for Health Care Professionals - Ontario Neurotrauma  Foundation

Concussion Guidelines for Schools and Community Sports Organizations/Centres - Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation

Concussion Resources - Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care