A concussion is a blow or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. A concussion IS a Brain Injury.

What you need to know about concussion.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of Traumatic Brain Injury, an external force to the head that changes the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also be caused by a fall or blow to the body that causes the brain to move quickly back and forth inside the skull. Effects of a concussion are usually temporary and not life-threatening; however, their effects can be serious. Common effects can include problems with headache, concentration, memory, judgment, balance and coordination.

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Concussion at Play [PDF]
Learn about opportunities to reshape the culture around concussion in this report from CDC.

Study Bolsters Link Between Routine Hits and Brain Disease
New York times - The growing evidence of a link between head trauma and long-term, degenerative brain disease was amplified in an extensive study of athletes, military veterans and others who absorbed repeated hits to the head, according to new findings published in the scientific journal Brain.

Recognizing Sports Concussions: Keeping Youth Athletes Safe

UW Medicine physicians from the Sports Concussion Program at Harborview Medical Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital help us keep young athletes safe by teaching us how to recognize the signs and symptoms of concussions.

The Effects of Concussion Legislation One Year Later – What Have We Learned
A Descriptive Pilot Survey of Youth Soccer Player Associates. Christian Shenouda, MD, Peter Hendrickson, PhD, Kathleen Davenport, MD, Jason Barber, MS, Kathleen R. Bell, MD. 2012.

Changing the Culture of Concussion: Education Meets Legislation.
Adler, Richard, Esq, Stanley A. Herring, MD. 2011.

Second Impact Syndrome

Second impact syndrome (SIS) occurs when an athlete returns to sport too early after suffering from an initial concussion. The athlete does not need to receive a strong second blow to the head to set the effects in motion. The key to preventing SIS is to ensure that athletes do not return to sport with any post-concussion symptoms. Click here for more information about “Second Impact Syndrome” from Sports MD.

Helpful Links

Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute
The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute provides information on helmets safety for various sports.

Sports Concussions

Seattle Children’s provides an overview of concussion, symptoms & diagnosis and treatments.


Preventing Concussions
The CDC provides a clear and simple overview, along with practical steps you can take to prevent concussion in sports.

For more information on concussion prevention in sports and other areas of life, visit our Prevention Education Page.

Legislation - The Zackery Lystedt Law

In 2009, BIAWA was crucial in the implementation of the Zackery Lystedt Law, making Washington the first state to pass legislation protecting youth while playing the sports they love. The law (House Bill 1824), requires implementation of guidelines prohibiting youth athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion from returning to play without medical clearance. As of February 2014, all 50 states have passed a similar law to protect our nation’s youth.

Key Provisions of the Law:

Youth athletes who are suspected of sustaining a concussion or Brain Injury must be removed from play. “When in doubt, sit them out.

* School districts must work with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) to develop information and policies on educating coaches, youth athletes and parents about the nature and risk of concussion, including the dangers of returning to practice or competition after a concussion.

* At the start of each season all student athletes and their parents/guardians must sign an information sheet about concussion and head injury prior to the youth athlete’s initiating practice.

* Youth athletes who have been removed from play must receive written medical clearance prior to returning to play. Clearance must be made by a licensed health-care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussion.

* Private, nonprofit youth sports associations wanting to use publicly owned playfields must comply with this law - NFL Health & Safety Updated State-by-State Legislation.

Call the Washington Brain Injury Resource Center at BIAWA 877-824-1766 to find out more about Concussions and Brain Injury.