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Athletes & Families

Sports and athletics programs are great ways for youth to enjoy healthy physical activity and develop important skills like teamwork and leadership. It is important to understand and appreciate the risks involved with sports and recreation activities along with their positives. Parents and caregivers play a vital role in creating an environment that values safety and open communication, encourages youth to report concussion symptoms, and supports youth throughout the process of recovery.

After a concussion

The brain needs time to heal after a concussion. A youth athlete who continues to play or who returns to play too soon - before the brain has finished healing - has a greater chance of getting another concussion. A repeat concussion that occurs while the brain is still healing can be very serious and can affect a child for a lifetime. It can even be fatal. If you suspect your child has sustained a concussion during a practice or a game, make sure they are immediately removed from play. Do not allow your child to return to play on the same day as the injury.

Your child may feel frustrated, sad, and even angry because they cannot return to school right away, keep up with schoolwork, or hang out as much with their friends. Talk with them often about this and offer your support and encouragement. Work with school and/or sports staff to support your child throughout the gradual process of returning to the classroom and then through the return to play process.

The fact sheets below explain the risks of concussion, ways to reduce the risk, and signs and symptoms of concussion.

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