What is a concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury that happens when the brain moves rapidly around inside the skull. This movement can temporarily disrupt brain function which can cause physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms. A concussion can cause a variety of symptoms and may affect the way your child learns.

What causes a concussion?

Any force that causes the brain to move around in the skull can potentially cause a concussion. This can happen by a direct hit to the head or indirectly through a hit to the body that causes the head to move back and forth or rotate.

The types of activities that can cause a concussion include falls, collisions with people or objects, and motor vehicle collisions. This could occur during sports or recreational activities, at recess or lunch, in the school building, or on the way to and from school.

You should suspect a concussion if your child has either hit their head or received a hit that could cause their brain to move rapidly in their head—EVEN if they don’t show any immediate signs of having one.

There is still much not known about concussions and the knowledge is continually changing. However, this website is updated on a regular basis and provides current education, tools, and resources to help support a child's return to school following a concussion.

How serious is a concussion?

Any head injury needs to be taken seriously. Most concussions, managed appropriately, resolve without complications. Not recognizing a concussion or returning to activities too early can put a child at increased risk for a prolonged recovery and result in a subsequent concussion. If a child has another concussion, the effects can be worse and result in more complications.

Managing a child with a concussion

A concussion is a mild brain injury and the recovery period needs to be managed. This is best done in collaboration with key individuals in your child’s life such as coaches, school staff, health care providers, peers and parents. As a parent your position as the central caregiver is critical to your child's recovery.

If you suspect your child has a concussion, check for Red Flag Symptoms immediately and review the steps on the  Concussion Response Tool

For more information take the Concussion Awareness Course for Parents

Concussion Facts

  • Concussions do not always include a loss of consciousness
  • Helmets DO NOT protect against concussions
  • A child does not need to be hit in the head to sustain a concussion
  • The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be delayed up to 2 to 3 days injury

Any force that causes the brain to move around in the skull can potentially cause a concussion