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This section of the website provides an overview of concussion, prevention, coping with symptoms and resources for more information. Click on the links below to navigate to skip to a section:


What is a concussion

  • A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury
  • You probably had a concussion if you were:
    • dazed or confused after your injury,
    • lost consciousness (knocked out),
    • or can’t remember what happened for a short time before or after your injury
  • The effects of a concussion can be serious

Dr. Mike Evans is founder of the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, and a staff physician at St. Michael's Hospital.


What causes a concussion?

  • A direct blow or jolt to the head, face and neck. 
  • It could result from a fall, a tackle in a contact sport, assault, vehicle accident, walking or running into an obstacle, skateboarding, snowboarding, explosion…and the list goes on
  • Most concussions can be prevented

Photos: flickr/John Martinez Pavliga

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After a concussion:
StopStop what you are doing, let someone know what happened and get help

  • It is very important to seek medical advice as soon as possible if you think you have had a concussion
  • Tell whoever is around you at the time that you think you have a concussion.  They could be a family member, friend, co-worker, teammate, or coach.
  • Immediately stop doing the activity whether it is work, school, sports or driving

Brain Recovery

  • sleep and restIn the minutes to days after a concussion, brain cells are in a vulnerable state
  • Usually the symptoms/problems of concussion are temporary and over time will go away
  • Healing usually happens over several days, but in some cases may take many weeks or months
  • Some symptoms may appear right away and some may appear later
  • Symptoms may get worse with an increase in activity
  • Having had a previous concussion may increase the time needed to heal


Common concussion symptoms and problems  




  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering new information
  • Trouble expressing thoughts and finding the right words
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting (early on)
  • Fuzzy or blurred vision
  • Dizziness or light headedness
  • Sensitivity to noise or light
  • Poor balance
  • Clumsiness
  • Changes in sleep pattern
  • Feeling tired, having no energy
  • Irritable
  • Sad, depressed, tearful
  • More emotional
  • Anxious


>> See the next section on Coping with symptoms and getting better

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Concussion Tool Kit

For more information about concussion management, visit this website sponsored by BC Injury Reaserach and PreventionChild Health BC and the BC Hospital Children's Foundation

Concussion Tool Kit




brochureTeacher's Resources

If a student sustains a concussion at home or at school, parents need to seek medical attention immediately, and inform their child's school of the outcome as soon as possible. Teachers need to be aware of the physical, cognitive, academic, emotional, and behavioural outcomes of concussion so they can accomodate students with concussion in their classrooms. Outcomes may be subtle and temporary, but may significantly impact a student's performance. (download brochure)

Guides for Youth

Brain Injury Guide for Youth  Understanding Brain Injury in Adolescence


Where can I get help?

Keep in contact with your doctor. Your doctor may refer you to specialists to help with troublesome symptoms

If you had a recent concussion and would like to talk to someone about your recovery, please call:

Vancouver Coastal Health’s Early Response Concussion Service
Phone: 604-714-4186
This early intervention and follow up service is offered by GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre

Fraser Health’s Concussion Clinic
Phone: 604-520-4175
This early intervention and follow up service is only available for people who live in the Fraser Health Region

For more information check out these web sites

Stop Concussions Logo

Stopconcussions.com is an online concussion/neurotrauma educational and awareness hub for all sports, to address the growing trend of concussions in sports.  It is a portal that players, parents, coaches, and officials can visit to seek information regarding concussions, with the goal of becoming more aware and ultimately safer individuals in their respective sports.  stopconcussions.com will have sport specify programs to help change the mindset of the sport, not the game.

Concussions OntarioConcussions Ontario is the website of the Concussion/mTBI Strategy, which aims to improve the recognition, diagnosis, and management of concussion/mTBI in Ontario. The site is primarily intended for medical and non-medical professionals, researchers and those interested in advancing practice and policy in relation to concussion/mTBI.



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Infographic produced by the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit:

BC Injury and Prevention Unit

Infographic produced by MastersinHealthCare.com:

Concussion Infographic

A project of:


Project launch made possible by:

  BC Neurotrauma Fund via

Rick Hansen Foundation, BC Neurotrauma Fund

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Brainstreams.ca is an online education and networking site for the Brain Injury Community in B.C. and beyond.

The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.