Does my student have a concussion?

Any force that causes the brain to move around inside 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 side-to-side.

You should consider the student to have a concussion if the student has had an impact that caused a sudden jerk to the neck or head—EVEN if they don’t show any immediate signs of having a concussion.

Signs and symptoms of a concussion can be delayed for several hours or even days following an incident. Following is a list of signs and symptoms consistent with a concussion.

Thinking / Remembering Physical Emotional / Mood Sleep

Not thinking clearly

Feeling slowed down

Unable to concentrate

Unable to remember new information


Fuzzy or blurry vision

Nausea and vomiting


Sensitivity to light or noise

Balance problems

Feeling tired or having no energy

Easily upset or angered


Nervous or anxious

More emotional

Sleeping more

Sleeping less

Having a hard time falling asleep

If the student is showing any of these signs and symptoms then the student should be seen by a healthcare professional immediately.

Concussion Response Tool

The Concussion Response Tool was developed to assist in the recognition and response to concussions. You can use the first two pages to guide and document your response to a concussion at the time of the incident. The third page provides important information for the parent or guardian.

The Concussion Response Tool can also serve as an important communication tool for sharing information from the scene of the incident. Note that it does not replace school incident reports that must be completed.

Concussion Response Tool - fillable PDF

For more information on recognizing a concussion take the Concussion Awareness Course for School Professionals.

Red Flag Symptoms

If your student shows any of the following Red Flag Symptoms call 911 immediately.

  • Neck pain
  • Increased confusion or irritability
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Seizure or convulsion
  • Weakness in arms/legs
  • Tingling or burning in arms/legs
  • Deteriorating consciousness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe or increasing headache
  • Change in behavior
  • Double vision