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How to Identify Symptoms of a Concussion

Quickly identifying the symptoms of a concussion after someone has experienced a sudden blow to the head or body is critical. Don't risk your health or the health of a loved one. Learn the signs of a concussion and take immediate action.


  • Step 1: See if the person lost consciousness First, find a quiet place to assess the injury. Has the person lost consciousness at any time after being hit? Know, however, that a person doesn't have to pass out to have a concussion.
  • Step 2: Check for memory loss Check to see if the person is experiencing any memory loss. Ask a question about something that happened just before they got hit to test their short-term memory. Short-term memory loss could signify a concussion.
  • TIP: Wear helmets and safety equipment when biking, rollerblading, skateboarding, snowboarding, or skiing to protect against concussions.
  • Step 3: Ask about blurred vision, dizziness, or difficulty concentrating Ask the person if they are experiencing problems with blurred vision, dizziness, or difficulty concentrating. If they have any problems focusing, they might have a concussion.
  • Step 4: Watch for physical symptoms, like vomiting or headaches Watch for the development of physical symptoms, like vomiting or headaches in the hours after the person gets hit. Some symptoms of a concussion can develop hours or even days after the traumatic event.
  • TIP: Don't take aspirin, ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for a headache if you think there might be a concussion. These medicines can increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Step 5: Test for difficulty balancing or coordinating Watch for signs that the person is having difficulty with coordination or balance after the event. Have them touch their finger to their nose or walk a straight line to test for problems that might indicate a concussion.
  • Step 6: Consult a doctor if you see any symptoms Consult a doctor if you see any symptoms of a concussion in the days after the hit. Rest until all of the symptoms go away, and gradually ease back into activities to keep your brain safe.
  • FACT: Between 2001 and 2005, emergency room doctors in the United States saw over 502,000 children with concussions. Half of those injuries were sports-related.

You Will Need

  • Quiet place to assess the injury
  • Doctor
  • Rest

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