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How much do you know about concussions? Do you know what to do if you think someone is concussed?

Our team of experts has worked with professional athletes who are recovering from concussions. We made this quiz to help you recognize the symptoms and learn how to give have the best shot at full recovery.

Ready? Let's get going ...

Because their brains are still growing, those 17 and younger are the most vulnerable to concussion.

Answer: TRUE

As you can see from the chart, youth 15-17 have the highest rate of concussion. This rate of concussion is not only due to youth participating in sports, but car accidents, falling, and other forms of injury.

For those 15-24, sports are the second leading cause of brain injuries. The first is car accidents.

Each year there are hundreds of thousands of sports-related concussions that required an emergency room visit. Some of those are serious enough to be diagnosed as brain injury.

Here are some important (and often confusing) terms to remember:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI): A TBI is caused by a blow to the head that changes the normal function of the brain.
  • Concussion: A concussion is a type of TBI. It happens when a blow causes the brain to bounce around inside the skull, often causing chemical changes and brain cell damage.
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE): A brain disease mostly found in athletes and military veterans who have a history of TBI. In CTE a substance spreads through the brain, eventually leading to the death of brain cells. Symptoms are often irritability, aggressiveness, paranoia, depression, lack of impulse control, and symptoms similar to dementia. There is no cure.

Contact sports are the main cause of concussion.

Answer: FALSE

Main Cause of Concussion

Contact sports are not always the cause of concussion. For those 15-24, the main cause is car accidents.

For small kids aged 0-4, falling or abuse are the most common causes.

Helmets can prevent concussions.

Answer: FALSE

Helmets Help – But They Cannot Prevent Concussions

While it’s always a good idea to wear a helmet while playing a sport, helmets cannot prevent an athlete from getting a concussion.

Did You Know?

Most helmets have expiry dates. Helmet expiry dates are most often shown on a sticker located on the back of a helmet:


Some helmets, like bike helmets, do not have expiry dates. However, experts suggest that they be replaced every five years.

It’s also important to remember that hand-me-down helmets may be molded for another person’s head – or worse – be cracked or misshapen!

What sport has the highest rate of concussion?

Answer: SOCCER

Sport with Highest Rate of Concussion

The sport with the highest concussion reporting rate is girls soccer, followed by boys soccer.

The CDC estimates that each year:

  • Adults make almost 3 million visits to the emergency department for TBI, and children make almost 1 million more visits.
  • About 288,000 adults and 23,000 children are hospitalized for concussion.
  • Around 57,000 adults and 2,600 children die after sustaining a TBI.

Soccer has done a great job of educating people about concussion, and how important it is to get professional help if a player has been injured.

In order to get a concussion, an athlete needs to have a direct hit to the head.

Answer: FALSE

Hits to the Head

Most people don’t realize this. You DO NOT need to be hit in the head to sustain or incur a head injury.

As you can see simply experiencing whiplash, a hit to the body, or some other form of vigorous shaking can cause your head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.

Technically, a concussion only happens when you get:

Note: The term g-force (or “gravitational force equivalent) is used to describe the acceleration of an object relative to the earth’s gravity. For example, it’s common for a fighter pilot to experience a g-force of six when making a turn.


Does Force Matter?

There is no known minimum g-forces needed for someone to sustain a concussion. Some researchers have tried to study, but so far, they haven’t found a reliable answer.

What we do know is that once a person sustains a concussion, they’re 33% more vulnerable to get another concussion in comparison to someone who was never concussed.

When do concussion symptoms appear?


Concussion Symptoms

Concussion symptoms can appear immediately, or they can appear more than 10 days after the injury.

For some, concussion symptoms appear slowly in a "wave effect" where they get worse over time.

What are the main signs of concussion? Please select all that apply:


Main Signs of Concussion

The top three signs of concussion are headache, dizziness/blurred vision, and upset stomach.

However, concussion symptoms are different for each person, the best thing to do is immediately take the athlete to the emergency room for evaluation. They will develop a baseline to measure individual symptoms and develop a return to play plan.

Once a person has sustained a concussion, they should not sleep through the night and should be woken up every two hours.

Answer: FALSE

Sleeping Through the Night

Having to wake someone up every two hours is a common misconception. A person who has sustained a concussion does not need to be woken up e every two hours.

After being examined by a medical professional, most injured people can sleep through the night without having to be woken up. The key is to seek medical assistance immediately and follow instructions.

Treatment for concussion is relatively simple. Someone recovering from a concussion should:



Those who sustain a concussion can have aspirin or Tylenol as needed.

They should also avoid visual stress like computer monitors, cell phones, or fine-print reading. Studies have shown that this reduces cognitive stress and overload, headaches, and blurred vision.

Once concussion symptoms have gone away athletes can return to the game.

Answer: FALSE

Getting Back to the Game

It's a common misconception, but it's quite simply NOT OK to return to sport just because symptoms subsided.

Getting back to the game depends on a number of factors, such as:

  • The time required to heal - concussion affects people differently and recovery has nothing to do with strength or smarts
  • The stress and physicality of the reintroduced sport
  • The likelihood of being re-injured
  • Whether there is a history of concussion
  • How the individual progressed through their treatment plan - which should include input from the athlete, their medical professional, coach, and fellow teammates

Concussions can affect a person’s personality forever.

Answer: TRUE

Personality Changes

A concussion can alter someone's personality for their lifetime. Concussions are very serious and affect people differently. That's why it's important to seek medical attention immediately.

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