Steps to take for concussions

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Erica Thornton and the athletic staff at High Point University try to be prepared for any injury, but on or off the field anyone can get a concussion.

"If an athlete or a person falls and their head maybe ricochets like in a motor vehicle accident, same thing where there's significant whip lash mechanism, that can also result in a concussion because it’s the brain sheering inside the skull,” Thornton said.

Concussion awareness has grown over the past years as athletes have come forward about long term effects.

"They may have a headache, they may be dizzy, sick to their stomach, nausea, some ringing in their ears,” Thornton said talking about symptoms. "Any change in personality is sometimes really important and I think it's important for parents to understand about their children is that they know them best."

And if you think someone has a concussion at a sporting event, Thornton says it’s better safe than sorry.

"When in doubt, sit them out, because there is significant greater risk for an additional injury if they have suffered a concussion,” Thornton said.

Anyone with symptoms should also “take it easy” on the brain.

"We decrease the cognitive requirements of the brain. We limit their screen time, limit their texting, limit their computer use to really allow their brain to rest,” Thornton said.

She also says if someone falls asleep with a possible concussion, and you can’t wake them up that’s a red flag.

Thornton says for people with a concussion history, it may take less force or impact to get one.