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Key facts about concussions and playgrounds

If a child is struck in the head, he or she could suffer from a concussion. This brain injury may also be caused even if the head is not impacted, but if the body moves in such a way that the head moves very quickly back and forth. For example, a student who is playing football could get a concussion either from being struck in the helmet by another player or by being hit in the chest so hard that the body quickly reverses direction.

This is an important distinction to make because some people think that concussions cannot happen without a direct blow to the head, but this is not the case. Since a concussion happens when the brain moves and hits the inside of the skull, damage can be done in a few different ways.

It's also important to note that a student may not have any external injuries, but this does not mean that internal brain injuries do not exist. Though injuries to students often also result in cuts, abrasions and bruises, it is possible that a student could suffer a fall on the playground and appear to be fine while still suffering from a concussion.

So, how can school officials recognize a playground injury that caused a concussion? The student may appear groggy and unable to remember events that just happened. The student may feel sick or dizzy. Additionally, functional changes could be noted, such as a difficulty maintaining balance or an unexplained fatigue.

If your child has been injured on the playground, you may have a right to compensation for medical treatment in Pennsylvania.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "What is a concussion?," accessed May. 08, 2015

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