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It wasn’t so long ago that a bump on the head was followed by the words “shake it off,” especially on the football field. But medical research has proven that even a small knock on the noggin can result in a concussion, and in some cases, even cause permanent damage.

Each year, approximately 300,000 sports-related concussions occur in the United States. In fact, concussions can be caused by any bump or blow to the head or other parts of the body. And you don’t have to be an athlete to get one. For example, when young children run into doorframes and older adults fall on sidewalks, concussions can occur.

If you or someone you know experiences a head injury or blow to the body, and has any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

* Headache/neck pain

* Dizziness/lightheadedness

* Sensitivity to light or noise

* Poor balance

* Loss of consciousness

* Confusion

* Dazed or stunned behavior

* Amnesia

When treated promptly and properly, most concussions resolve themselves with rest. But only medical personnel trained in evaluating and treating concussions can make that call. So when in doubt, contact your physician.

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