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Brain Smart Hamilton
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McMaster Children's Hospital and Brain Smart Hamilton are working together to reduce brain injuries.

Everyone has a role to play in the identification and management of concussions in children and youth.


What is a concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury caused by a hit to the head that can change the way the brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Young children and teens are more likely to get a concussion and take longer to recover than adults.

What do you need to know about concussions?

  • All concussions are serious.
  • Even a bump to the head can be serious.
  • Concussions are an invisible injury. You can’t see a concussion on an x-ray or MRI.
  • Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness.
  • Concussions can occur even with a helmet.
  • Signs of a concussion may appear right after the injury or hours or days later.
  • Early identification and management can help recovery and prevent further brain injury or even death.

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Sleep disturbances or drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Poor balance or coordination
  • Dizziness
  • Visual problems
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Paleness with dark circles under eyes
  • Confused, foggy
  • Poor concentration
  • Memory loss
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Nervousness

Want to learn more?

Concussions 101, a Primer for Kids and Parents with Dr. Mike Evans:

Add this concussion app to your smart phone:

“Concussion Ed” is free mobile app for youth, parents and educators. Available in English and French, “Concussion Ed” is organized into Prevent, Recognize, Manage and Track. Download at the Apple App Store or Google Play.


Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

Disclaimer: Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) offers Google Translate to better facilitate access for our community. However, HHS makes no claims regarding the accuracy of translations. Any and all health information should be verified by a health care professional.