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How Can Parents Help Prevent Concussions?

What’s a Concussion?

A concussion is an injury to the brain that causes temporary changes in the way the brain works. Concussions happen when someone has a blow to the head, or the head is shaken back and forth with great force.

It’s important to try to prevent concussions because they can cause long-lasting, serious effects on the brain. Be sure to talk to your kids and teens about what can happen from concussions and how to prevent them.

What Can Help Prevent Concussion?

To help protect your kids from concussions:

  • Talk to coaches to make sure that all teams your kids play on have rules to reduce the risk of concussions, such as limits on tackling (football) or heading the ball (soccer). Also make sure that the coach will take your child out of play if a head injury happens.
  • Talk to your kids about never hiding a head injury. They should stop the sport or activity that caused the head injury and go to a parent, coach, or teacher right away.
  • Make sure kids wear a helmet when skiing, snowboardingbiking, riding a scooter, skateboarding, or rollerblading. A concussion can still happen, but the helmet can protect them from a skull fracture and serious brain injury.
  • Have kids use the proper car seat, booster seat, and/or seatbelts every time they’re in a car.
  • Childproof your home so that young kids can’t pull furniture down on themselves or climb to high places. Put gates at the top and bottom of steps. Put window guards on windows and keep them closed and locked. Always supervise young children.
  • Use playgrounds that have soft ground surfaces like mulch (not dirt or concrete).