Symptoms of a Concussion

Anyone who is observed to, or is suspected of, suffering a significant blow to the head, has fallen from any height, or collides hard with another person or object may have sustained a concussion. Symptoms of a concussion may appear immediately, become evident in a few hours, or evolve and worsen over a few days. Concussions can occur anywhere. Anyone suspected of having a concussion based on either the disclosure of a head injury, observed or reported symptoms, or sustaining a significant blow to the head or body must be removed from athletic activity and/or physical activities (e.g., PE class, recess) and observed until an evaluation can be completed by a medical provider. Symptoms of a concussion include but are not necessarily limited to:

Amnesia (e.g., decreased or absent memory of events prior to or immediately after the injury, or difficulty retaining new information)

Confusion or dazed appearance

Headache or head pressure

Loss of consciousness

Balance difficulty or dizziness, or clumsy movements

Double or blurry vision

Sensitivity to light and/or sound

Nausea, vomiting, and/or loss of appetite

Irritability, sadness, or other changes in personality

Feeling sluggish, foggy, groggy, or lightheaded

Concentration or focusing problems

Slowed reaction times, drowsiness

Fatigue and/or sleep issues (e.g., sleeping more or less than usual)

If an individual develops any of the following signs, or if the symptoms listed above worsen, he or she must be seen and evaluated immediately at the nearest hospital emergency room:

Headaches that worsen


Drowsy appearance and/or cannot be woken

Repeated vomiting

Slurred speech

Unable to recognize people or places

Weakness or numbing in arms or legs, facial drooping

Unsteady gait

Dilated or pinpoint pupils, or change in pupil size of only one eye

Significant irritability

Any loss of consciousness

Suspicion of skull fracture (e.g., blood draining from ear or clear fluid draining from nose)

Adapted from