80% of concussions don’t seek medical attention1

Hit your head? How bad is it?

Head knocks that result in symptoms are called concussions.

30% of concussions have ongoing symptoms2 ,3,4

It’s important that concussions are detected early and treated appropriately.

HeadCheck will help guide when your child is ready to return to school/play/sport.

1 Kirstin Weerdenburg et al Paediatrics & Child Health, Volume 21, Issue 3, 1 April 2016
2 Roger Zemek et al JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(3):259-265
3 Karen Barlow et al Pediatrics August 2010 Volume 126
4 Lynn Babcock et al 2013 JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(2):156-161

Key App Features

Top facts to know about concussion

About concussion

  • A concussion is a type of mild head injury. It happens when the head gets bumped, which causes a short-term change in how the brain works.
  • You don’t need to have lost consciousness to experience a concussion.
  • Children typically take longer to recover from a concussion than adults.
  • Concussion symptoms can take up to four weeks to go away, and sometimes even longer. But for most children, symptoms improve within several days.

Signs and symptoms of concussion

Physical symptoms of concussion include:

  • headache
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • blurred or double vision
  • sensitivity to light or noise
  • dizziness and balance problems
  • drowsiness, fatigue and sleep difficulties

Thinking and remembering symptoms of concussion include:

  • difficulty concentrating
  • slower reaction times
  • difficulty remembering things, or even forgetting things altogether
  • feelings of being ‘in a fog’ or ‘slow’

Emotional and behaviour symptoms of concussion include:

  • greater irritability than usual
  • anxiety
  • changes in mood like being sad or even depressed

Our research has shown that,

  • Over 70% of parents don’t recognise the severity of concussion even if they were at the game
  • 1 in 5 were not immediately removed from play following the head injury
  • Less than 10% of parents were aware of concussion or return to play guidelines used by their sporting organisations
  • 27% were not assessed by a qualified person

It’s important to get the balance right when managing a child’s return to school, training and games

Stats to Know

  • 75% parents don’t recognize severity of concussion symptoms even if they were at the game – OVER 70%
  • 42% were not managed according to recommended guidelines – OVER 40%
  • 19% were not immediately removed from play following the head injury – 20% OR 1 IN 5
  • 93% of parents were unaware of concussion or return to play guidelines used by their sporting organisations LESS THAN 10%

More Facts About Concussion

  •  Nearly 80% of Australians are not aware that children who have a concussion have a higher risk of another concussion.
  • 80% of Australians believe that someone with a concussion should be kept awake.
  • Nearly 40% of Australians believe that when a child is knocked unconscious they will wake up with no lasting effects.
  • Nearly 40% of Australians believe that concussion occurs only as a result of a blow directly to the head.

Our Team

Prof Vicki Anderson PhD

Head of Psychology, Royal Children’s Hospital Mental Health Theme Director, Clinical Sciences Research, MCRI

Franz E Babl

MD MPH DMedSc FRACP FAAP FACEP Paediatric Emergency Physician, Royal Children’s Hospital Head, Emergency Research, MCRI Associate Professor

Dr Peter Harcourt

Chief Medical Officer


Developed and designed by :

Dr Peter Barnett MBBS FRACP MSc FACEM MSpMed

Deputy Director, Emergency Department Royal Children’s Hospital, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Melbourne, Honorary Research Fellow, MCRI

Gavin Davis MBBS, FRACS (Neurosurgery)

Adjunct Professor, University of Notre Dame Australia, member of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia (NSA)

University appointments: University of Melbourne, The Florey, MCRI, Australian Football League (AFL) Concussion Working Group

Dr Audrey McKinlay

Psychologist, Traumatic Brain Injury researcher, Senior lecturer, Clinical Psychology, University of Melbourne

Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, Honorary Fellow MCRI

Dr Ali Crichton, PhD

Research Officer, Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist Clinical Sciences Child Neuropsychology, MCRI

Katie Davies

Principal Physiotherapist, Neurological Rehabilitation Group, Honorary Fellow, MCRI

Michael Takagi PhD

Senior Research Officer, Clinical Neuropsychologist Clinical Sciences Child Neuropsychology, MCRI

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