Is It a Concussion? Signs in Young Athletes

Even if a young athlete doesn't lose consciousness, the injury may be a concussion. Here's what to look for.

Head injuries on the football field is of increasing concern to parents and coaches, as more is learned about the long-term impacts.

Local doctors are stepping up their warnings about the signs and symptoms of concussion in young athletes.

First and foremost, a person does not have to be knocked out to suffer a concussion.

In fact, only 10 percent of athletes who have concussions lose consciousness, according to Dr. Patrick Mularoni, who works at the sports medicine concussion clinic at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg.

New state legislation was introduced last year that requires any youth suspected of receiving a concussion to be immediately removed from a game or practice, unable to return until obtaining medical clearance.

Young athletes may be tempted not to report symptoms for fear of losing playing and practice time, but concussions are injuries to the brain that can be serious, experts say, with long-term risks and effects.

Here are signs and symptoms to look for, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control:

  • Confusion
  • Clumsy movements and slow talking
  • Forgetfulness
  • Can’t recall events before or after the incident
  • Appears dazed
  • Nauseous or suffering from a headache
  • Sensitivity to light and/or noise
  • Vision problems


Related coverage:

  • Concussions and Youth Sports: Local Doc Weighs In on Debate


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