Here's what you need to know:
Loss of consciousness isn't the only sign.
Blackouts occur in less than 10% of people with concussions, according to the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). Headache, loss of memory and confusion are among the most common signs; others include dizziness, blurred vision, nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, feeling dazed and sleep problems. Also watch for changes in your child's behavior or personality, as well as concentration complaints. New research out of Boston Children's Hospital found such emotional or mental symptoms linger longer in kids who suffer a concussion.
Stop play post-injury.
Any athlete with a suspected concussion should be removed from a game or a practice right away and not return until assessed by a health professional, according to updated AAN concussion guidelines. AAN also recommends getting back into the sport gradually, only after acute symptoms have completely disappeared. The guidelines also say that kids and teens should be managed more conservatively because they take longer to recover than college athletes. Your little one may also need to ease back into the classroom, depending on the severity of symptoms. Work with your doctor and school officials to determine the best plan.
Encourage good sportsmanship.
You know it's important to wear protective headgear; playing clean and following the rules can also prevent concussions.