Concussion Tips: Get Your Head OUT of the Game


Yes, it’s that time of year when most American families are pouring into bleachers in middle school and high school stadiums to watch their kids play football.  If not football, then some families are stacking up their camping chairs along the lacrosse and soccer fields.

Whatever contact sports your kids may be playing this season (and even non-contact sports such as gymnastics, swimming or even recreational sports like skateboarding) with any sport there is always a risk of a head injury leading to a concussion.

All Childrens Hosptial

Recently, I visited the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center at All Children’s Hospital. There, I met Dr. Patrick Mularoni, the Medical Director of the Pediatric Sports Medicine program at All Children’s Hospital and discovered all the wonderful work and some very high-tech techniques his staff are offering to injured young athletes such as rehabilitation services that will help young athletes heal and improve their overall performance

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Concussion machine used to measure balance.

But more importantly, I learned about the amazing services they offer for concussions. Simply stated, a concussion is a brain injury that occurs after trauma to the head.

According to Dr. Mularioni,

“Many people think that you need to have loss of consciousness with concussion which is not true. Actually less than 5% of concussed individuals have loss of consciousness associated with their injury. Concussion can occur in any sport or activity and can be caused by a blow to the body with no hit to the head.”

If the child has a big hit and suffered loss of consciousness most parents would know that their child may have a concussion and should be seen by a doctor. The harder situation is if a player has an injury but may have limited symptoms like repetitive speech or inability to remember parts of the game that they’re playing in.  Some coaches will recognize a concussion in a player who is not playing up to their typical speed or is making mistakes that they normally would not make.”

Concussion Symptoms

Best Advice on the side lines: “When in doubt sit them out.”

Concussion - Medical Attention

If there is any question as to whether a child has a concussion, you should pull them out of the game and they shouldn’t return until they are evaluated by a physician who is comfortable managing Pediatric concussion.

Concussion - Physician Visit

It takes coaches, parents, teachers and the students themselves to recognize the symptoms of a concussion, because every student-athlete responds differently. The most five most common symptoms are headache, dizziness, sleep issues, irritability and difficulty concentrating and a feeling that most kids describe as fogginess.

For more information on concussions, visit and watch this video to learn more about concussions from Dr. Mularioni.

All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine provides expert pediatric care for infants, children and teens with some of the most challenging medical problems in our community and around the world.

Named a top 50 children’s hospital by U.S. News & World Report, All Children’s Hospital provides access to the most innovative treatments and therapies. Taking part in pediatric medical education and clinical research help All Children’s provide world-class care in more than 43 pediatric medical and surgical subspecialties.

Visit to learn more about the services and care All Children’s Hospital provides.

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