Q: I always wear my helmet properly with both chinstraps fastened when I play football. I should be safe from concussions right?
A: That’s actually not true. No piece of equipment can prevent a concussion. In fact, helmets were made with the intention of preventing skull fractures, not concussions. So far there is no piece of equipment on the market that can ensure a player won’t receive a concussion when playing a sport.

Q: I got hit in the head pretty hard at practice but I just got my bell rung. I didn’t lose consciousness or anything. Should I get tested for a concussion?
A: Absolutely. A concussion does not require a player to lose consciousness. In fact, many athletes look totally normal after suffering a concussion. Whenever you “get your bell rung,” it’s always a good idea to be tested for a concussion. This headache is caused when the brain hits the inside of your skull after a sudden impact. If the brain hits with enough force, you’ll have a concussion. Always remember to err on the side of caution. When in doubt, sit out.

Q: Is a concussion only caused by hits to the head?
A: Not always. A concussion can be caused by any hit to the body and not necessarily a direct shot to the head.

Q: I think I have a concussion but I don’t want to look like a wuss if I complain to a coach and I don’t want to lose playing time if I have to miss some games.. What should I do?
A: You’re not alone. Feeling this way is very common among athletes who feel they may have sustained a concussion. You should always report a possible concussion to a coach or trainer. Concussions are nothing to mess around with. You wouldn’t try to play with a broken leg would you? The brain shouldn’t be any different. As far as missing playing time goes, you can’t worry about that. If you report your suspicions you can recover and return to play in no time. If you play with a concussion and get hit hard enough, you may be looking at an injury that can end your season, career, or even your life.

Q: Will I know if I have a concussion?
A: Not always. Concussions are tricky because symptoms may appear days after the injury occurs. You may feel totally fine and still have a concussion. In fact, a concussion may not even appear on a hospital scan. Not every concussion causes structural damage so a brain scan would appear normal in those cases.If you ever receive a big hit in any sport its a good idea to get yourself checked for a concussion, regardless of whether you feel bad or not.

Q: I play defense. I shouldn’t have to worry about concussions, right?
A: Sorry, pal. No such luck. When it comes to concussions, defenders are at just as much risk as offensive players are. Always use proper technique when playing a sport to minimize this risk.

Q: What is a concussion?
A: The Center for Disease Control defines a concussion as a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.

Q: I already received a concussion. Am I at any extra risk for another one?
A: Yes. Studies suggest that female athletes, young athletes, and previously concussed athletes are at a higher risk of suffering from a concussion.

Q:If I get a concussion in the middle of a game will I be able to return later in the game?
A: A player should never return to play the same day he or she received a concussion.

Q: Are concussions only in contact sports like football and hockey?
A: No. Actually, concussions can occur at any point in any sport including baseball, water polo, even diving.

Q: If I ever suffer from a concussion, will I be able to heal completely?
A: Most likely you’ll be able to recover and be symptom free in a relatively short amount of time. For serious concussions or repeat concussion, the effects could be more devastating and chronic. As long as you remember to PlaySmart, you should be able to StaySmart and heal in no time.