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Concussion Recognition and Response

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe concussion as "a type of traumatic brain injury that results from a bump, blow, or jolt to the head (or by a hit to the body) that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth." This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging the brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain. Although one concussion is seldom life-threatening, the effects can still be quite serious.

If you would like to schedule a free concussion training or presentation for your group, please contact the Injury Prevention Service at (405) 271-3430 or email

Signs and Symptoms of Concussion

The person...

  • Seems dazed, stunned, or confused
  • Repeats questions, or answers questions slowly
  • Can't recall events prior to or after the hit, bump, or fall
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)
  • Has unequal pupils (one large, one small)
  • Shows behavior or personality changes such as becoming impulsive, sad, or irritable
  • Forgets routine things like class schedules or assignments

Physical Symptoms

  • Headaches or pressure in the head
  • Dizziness or balance problems
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to noise, ringing in ears
  • Sensitivity to light, blurry or double vision
  • Fatigue or feeling tired
  • Numbness or tingling (stinger)
  • Does not "feel right"

Thinking Symptoms

  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Feeling "slowed down"

Emotional Symptoms

  • Irritable
  • Sad or depressed
  • More emotional than usual
  • Anxious or nervous

Oklahoma Law about Sports-related Head Injury

Effective November 1, 2016, the Oklahoma State Legislature required that all school districts and youth sports organizations or associations develop policies and procedures to inform and educate coaches, game officials, team officials, athletes, and their parents or guardians of the nature and risk of concussion and head injury. In addition, players who are suspected of sustaining a concussion shall be removed from play and may not participate until the athlete is evaluated and cleared by a licensed health care professional. (70 O.S. § 24-155).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have developed concussion management materials that provide information on how to prevent, recognize and respond to a concussion. Heads Up materials are available for youth and high school sports coaches, parents, athletes, teachers, school nurses and administrators, and health care professionals. Most are available in English and Spanish.

Get free Heads Up materials for your organization or staff.

Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury products from the Injury Prevention Service:

Traumatic Brain Injury Support Groups

Oklahoma Athletic Trainers' Association

Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association

Contact Us

Injury Prevention Service
Oklahoma State Department of Health
1000 NE 10th Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73117
(405) 271-3430

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