Concussion Safety
Concussion Information and Return to Play Guidelines

Your son/daughter has suffered a concussion in their athletic event. A concussion is an injury to the brain, caused by an outside force. The force causing the concussion can be a mild bump or a very severe blow. These forces to the head cause shaking, bruising and swelling to the brain resulting in a concussion. There are many signs and symptoms that can accompany a concussion that you should be aware of. If any of these signs and symptoms worsen it is important to immediately get your son/daughter to the emergency room for further evaluation and testing.

Signs and Symptoms:

- Headache - Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to noise - Difficulty remembering
- Emotional - Anxious
- Pressure in head - Nausea
- Feeling slowed down - Fatigue
- Irritable - Ringing in ears
- Neck pain - Vomiting
- Feeling in a fog - Decreased energy
- Sadness - Slurred speech
- Dizziness - Balance Problems
- Difficulty concentrating - Confused
- Nervous - Clumsy
- Sensitivity to light - Tired
- Convulsions

Home Guidelines for the Concussed Athlete

1. Allow the athlete to sleep and get plenty of rest in a low light environment
2. Drink plenty of fluids (water)
3. Athlete can take Tylenol (Acetaminophen) for pain. Do not use Aspirin or Ibuprofen
4. Ice for head and neck pain
5. Follow return to play guidelines below before returning to activity
6. Seek immediate medical attention if signs and symptoms worsen

Return to Play Guidelines

Athletes with a concussion should not return to play the same day. Return to play guidelines is set up in a six step process. There is a minimum 24 hour period between each step. If at any time the athletes’ signs or symptoms reoccur they must return to step 1. Athlete must be cleared by a licensed healthcare professional that is certified in concussion management.

1. Rest until asymptomatic (physical and emotional rest)

2. Light activity (Stationary bike or treadmill)

3. Sport specific exercise

4. Non-contact sport specific drills and light weight training

5. Full contact drills and training with MEDICAL CLEARANCE

6. Return to competition

St Luke’s Concussion Clinic:  208-381-2665

Web sites for more information on concussions:

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