Myth: Hitting your head is the only way to get a concussion.
Fact: Concussions can be caused by any blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Anything that causes the brain to bounce around or twist within the skull can cause a concussion
Myth: A harder blow to the head, or body, means a worse concussion.
Fact: The force of the blow is not a factor in the severity of the resulting concussion. The severity of a concussion depends on the individual, and potentially on any previous history of TBIs.
Myth: Everyone who has a concussion blacks out.
Fact: Losing consciousness is not a necessary sign of a concussion, and occurs in less than 10% of all cases.
Myth:You'll know immediately when someone has a concussion.
Fact:Signs and symptoms of a concussion generally show up soon after the injury, but the full effect of the injury may take several hours, to days, to be noticeable. This is why when in doubt, always sit your athlete out, and seek medical attention.
Myth:Athletes will report their own concussion symptoms.
Fact:Athletes may not report their symptoms for a variety of reasons. Some think it would let the team down, and some may not understand their symptoms are pointing to a concussion. This is why all coaches and parent should know the danger signs and causes of a concussion, and call 911 or take their athlete to the emergency department if you have any reason to suspect they have a concussion.
Myth: A person with a concussion should try to stay awake.
Fact: Rest is a very important part of recovering after a concussion, and helps the brain to heal. Encourage your athlete to get plenty of rest at night and during the day.
Myth: Everyone recovers from concussions at the same rate.
Fact: Recovery time varies per individual. Although most people recover quickly and fully, for some, symptoms can last for days, weeks, or even longer. Factors that can affect recovery time include: the severity of the concussion, the age of the individual affected, the health of the individual previous to the concussion, and how well the individual takes care of themselves after the injury.
Myth: It's safe to resume normal activities right after a concussion.
Fact: If your athlete has a concussion, their brain needs time to heal. Resuming play too early puts your athlete at risk for a repeat concussion, which can slow recovery or increase their chances for long-term problems. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in brain swelling, and permanent brain damage. It is only safe to resume play, or other normal activities, such as driving, heavy housecleaning, and sustained computer/video game use, when a health care professional says it's OK.
Myth: Wearing a helmet means you can't get a concussion.
Fact: While wearing a helmet is a must to reduce the risk of severe brain injury and skull fractures, there is no "concussion-proof" helmet. So, even with a helmet, it is important for teach your athletes how to avoid hits to the head.
NorthBay Medical Center: 707-646-5000 NorthBay VacaValley Hospital 707-624-7000