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Do you know what a concussion is? Don’t feel bad if the answer is “not really.” 

At Concussion Awareness Now, we’re here to help.

We’re cutting through the noise about concussions, injuries that can be sneaky and invisible – and are widely misunderstood. 

In a recently conducted Concussion Awareness Now survey of 3,000 people across the U.S., 84% of people falsely believed athletes are most at risk for concussion. The truth is that just 3% of concussions are sports related. In that same study, 56% of people indicated they believed you have to hit your head to sustain a concussion. Whiplash in car crashes is a leading cause of concussion, with no direct head trauma required. And 13% said you have to lose consciousness for it to be a concussion. Also NOT true. (Psst…Check out common symptoms of concussion for more.)

Simply put: Concussions are injuries to the brain. They happen when someone suffers a blow to the head or has an external force, shake or jostle that quite literally slams this precious organ against their skull. That’s why concussions shouldn’t be brushed aside or downplayed as something to ignore. They are serious injuries!

Unfortunately, many people don’t seek the care they need for concussions. Over half of people who think they might have a concussion never get it checked. And that doesn’t include the people who don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t even suspect they have concussion… because they figure it won’t or couldn’t happen to them. 

The world around us puts a lot of pressure on us to push past injury. To get back to work, or back in the game. To be tough, to shake it off. To avoid any potential embarrassment. The thing is: Even if you don’t have a gash or knot on your head or symptoms right away, you still could have a concussion. And concussions have potentially serious, long-term health consequences.

To make sure you or your loved one is receiving the care and treatment they need, it’s essential to have concussions checked out by a medical professional. You’ll be able to find out specifics about the injury and receive important advice about how to recover.

At least 4.8 million people head to the ER each year in the U.S. for concussion- and other traumatic brain injury-related injuries. The true number of concussions happening is likely much higher (our survey suggests more than twice as many!) So being aware that concussions can happen to anyone, anywhere, not just athletes, is important to remember.