“You can’t expect a concussed athlete to know they are concussed”
- Karolina Wisniewska, eight-time Paralympic medalist, alpine skiing
John Herdman, head coach of the Canadian Men’s National Soccer Team, speaks to the impact a concussion protocol has on a coach’s role in keeping athletes safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Recognize the signs and symptoms of concussion.
If an athlete shows or reports any symptoms of concussion, or just “doesn’t feel right”, they should be removed from play and examined by a licensed healthcare professional.
Remove the athlete from the game or practice.
To properly treat and manage a concussion, it is important that an athlete is immediately removed from the game or practice following a concussion. However, removing an athlete from play is not an easy decision, which is why it is important to have informed and relevant policies and procedures in place to ensure athletes are protected.
Refer to a licensed healthcare professional.
Only a medical professional can officially diagnose a concussion, and there is rarely a licensed medical professional on the field of play. After removing a concussed athlete from the field of play, refer them to a license medical professional to receive an informed diagnosis and recovery plan.
Return to school and then to sport and play.
Athletes who return to activities before recovering from a concussion are more likely to sustain a second concussion with more severe symptoms. However, once the brain has healed and with a licensed medical professional’s approval, an athlete can gradually start returning to physical activities.
Returning to play safely requires patience, attention and caution, and will be a different experience for every athlete.
Help spread awareness about concussions with posters, videos and other marketing materials.
Use SIRC’s concussion toolkit, including:
- Pre-Season Tools
- In-Season Tools
- Educational Guides
- Programs, Apps & Educational Videos
- SIRC printed promotional materials
- SIRC online promotional materials
Athletes don’t have to be “knocked out” to have suffered a concussion. In fact, only 10% of concussions involve a loss of consciousness.
Any blow to the head, face or neck area, or a blow to the body causing a sudden jarring of the head may cause a concussion (e.g. a force to the head, falling to the ground, receiving a body-check).