Head injuries are a serious problem; you should always go to the doctor as soon as you can after hitting your head, but how can you know when it’s serious? These are some quick symptoms to identifying a concussion and tips to know when you need to call an ambulance.

Designated Guardling

First things first, there should be a dedicated guardling (or instructor) who should know all basic medical injuries you might come into contact with and be able to deal with them immediately. Without this person, the entire guard might crowd around the injured guardling and trust me – that’s not helping.

Symptoms of a Concussion

Every person is different and will react to head injuries differently. Some basic and universal symptoms are the following

Common Symptoms

  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of memory
    • This typically occurs as the loss of memory of the traumatic event
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
    • Over 30 seconds is a cause for concern
  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
  • Dizziness or “seeing stars”
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Appearing dazed
  • Fatigue

Symptoms of a concussion may appear immediately or they may be delayed. Some symptoms can last hours, days, or even weeks. It’s important that after a suspected concussion your friend sits out for a while.

Delayed Symptoms

  • Concentration and memory difficulties
  • Irritability and other personality changes
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Psychological adjustment problems and depression
  • Disorders of taste and smell

Remember guys, you don’t need all of these symptoms to have a concussion. If you see any one of these, ask your friend to sit out and see a doctor.

Emergency Situations

GET TO A DOCTOR IF YOU HAVE THESE SYMTOMS

Common Concerning Symptoms

  • Repeated vomiting
  • A loss of consciousness lasting longer than 30 seconds
  • A headache that gets worse over time
  • Changes in his or her behavior, such as irritability
  • Changes in physical coordination, such as stumbling or clumsiness
  • Confusion or disorientation, such as difficulty recognizing people or places
  • Slurred speech or other changes in speech
  • Vision or eye disturbances
    • Pupils that are bigger than normal (dilated pupils)
    • Pupils of unequal sizes
  • Lasting or recurrent dizziness
  • Obvious difficulty with mental function or physical coordination
  • Symptoms that worsen over time
    • This is why you go to a doctor in 1-2 days

Those will be the most common symptoms in people who have a serious head injury.

One final important word: No one should spin while signs or symptoms of a concussion are present.

I know it’s tough watching everyone else spin and having to air the work, but we all want to you spin for a long time. If that means taking a few days to recover: take it. If you don’t take care of yourself, you might have to quit spinning a lot sooner than you wanted.

Stay safe everyone and huge support to the Mayo Clinic who provided all of this information! (mayoclinic.org)

Written by Claire Delaney