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To help identify concussion in children, youth and adults



Concussion should be suspected if one or more of the following visible clues,signs, symptoms or errors in memory questions are present.


1. Visible clues of suspected concussion

Any one or more of the following visual clues can indicate a possible concussion:

  • Loss of consciousness or responsiveness
  • Lying motionless on ground / Slow to get up
  • Unsteady on feet / Balance problems or falling over / Incoordination
  • Grabbing / Clutching of head
  • Dazed, blank or vacant look
  • Confused / Not aware of plays or events


2. Signs and symptoms of suspected concussion

Presence of any one or more of the following signs & symptoms may suggest a concussion:


Loss of consciousness                       Dizziness

Seizure or convulsion                        Balance problems

Nausea or vomiting                           Drowsiness

More emotional                                 Irritability

Sadness                                             Fatigue or low energy

Nervous or anxious                          “Don’t feel right”

Difficulty remembering                     Headache

Confusion                                         Sensitivity to noise

Feeling slowed down                         Amnesia

“Pressure in head”                                      Feeling like “in a fog“

 Blurred vision                                  Neck pain

Sensitivity to light                                      Difficulty concentrating


3. Memory function

Failure to answer any of these questions correctly may suggest a concussion.

  • “What venue are we at today?”
  • “Which half is it now?”
  • “Who scored last in this game?”
  • “What team did you play last week / game?”
  • “Did your team win the last game?”


Any athlete with a suspected concussion should be IMMEDIATELY REMOVED

FROM PLAY, and should not be returned to activity until they are assessed medically. Athletes with a suspected concussion should not be left alone andshould not drive a motor vehicle.


It is recommended that, in all cases of suspected concussion, the player is referred to a medical professional for diagnosis and guidance as well as return to play decisions, even if the symptoms resolve.



  • In all cases, the basic principles of first aid (danger, response, airway, breathing, circulation) should be followed.
  • Do not attempt to move the player (other than required for airway support) unless trained to so do.
  • Do not remove helmet (if present) unless trained to do so.