Concussion Awareness

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Concussions are potentially serious head injuries and can occur during sports and recreational activities. Concussion symptoms may go unnoticed; however, repeat concussions that occur before the brain recovers from the first can increase the chances for long term effects. 

Learn about the signs, symptoms and prevention of concussions and be better prepared to prevent, identify and manage them.  

Let's work together to prevent concussions and make Kingston a safer place to play.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury caused by a force to the head that causes the brain to move rapidly within the skull. They can be difficult to diagnose as there may be no visible signs, but ignoring a concussion can have serious negative effects. Watch the video.

Reduce the Risk


  • Talk to your family about the importance of following safety rules in sports and recreational activities.
  • Ensure coaches are enforcing safety rules during practice and game play.
  • Ensure protective helmets are of good quality, properly fitted, regularly inspected for damage and used for the intended physical activity.


  • Regularly talk about and enforce safety rules at games and practices (fair play, avoiding aggression).
  • Model good behaviour and wear a helmet where appropriate.
  • Develop proper techniques and skills with players.
  • Ensure equipment meets required safety standards.
  • Remind players/parents about the importance of properly fitting equipment.
  • Remind players/parents to ensure equipment is in good working condition prior to play. 
  • Know the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
  • Ensure players with suspected concussions do not return to the activity without a physician's approval.

Signs and symptoms

Here are some signs and symptoms which may occur right away or later on.

  • headache or ‘pressure' in the head
  • dizziness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • feeling off/not right
  • seeing stars or flashing lights
  • ringing in the ears
  • fatigue or feeling tired
  • loss of vision
  • double or blurry vision
  • stomach ache
  • sensitivity to light or noise
  • poor coordination or balance
  • blank stare/ glassy-eyed
  • slurred speech
  • slow to answer questions or follow directions
  • poor concentration
  • easily distracted
  • does not know the time, date, place, or type of activity playing in
  • general confusion
  • cannot remember things that happened before or after the injury

Individuals demonstrating signs and symptoms of a concussion should be removed from the physical activity immediately and be examined by a physician. 

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