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Brain Injury Characteristics

Just as we did in helping to pass the landmark Zachary Lystedt Law in 2009, Washington Youth Soccer continues to work with the Brain Injury Association of Washington to help reduce the frequency and severity of brain injuries in youth soccer. Our state has proven to be on the leading edge of brain injury awareness and prevention nationwide, and in recognition of March being National Brain Injury Awareness Month, we feel it is once again important to remind parents and coaches of the signs and symptoms of brain injuries.

"The Brain Injury Association of Washington is continuing to work to increase awareness that a concussion is a brain injury and that we all need to work towards protecting our youth when playing the sports they love," says Deborah Crawley, Executive Director of the Brain Injury Association of Washington.

Just as each individual is unique, so is each brain injury. Physical disabilities, impaired learning and personality changes are common. Frequently reported problems include:

Physical: Speech, Hearing, Paralysis, Headaches, Vision, Seizure Disorder, Muscle Spasticity, Reduced Endurance

Cognitive Impairments: Concentration, Attention, Perceptions, Planning, Communication, Writing Skills, Short Term Memory, Long Term Memory, Judgment, sequencing, Reading Skills, Orientation.

Behavioral/Emotional Changes: Fatigue, Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Restlessness, Agitation, Mood Swings, Excessive Emotions, Depression, Lack of Motivation, Inability to Cope, Self-Centeredness.

The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be subtle and may not be immediately apparent. Symptoms can last for days, weeks or even longer.

The two most common concussion symptoms are confusion and amnesia. The amnesia, which may or may not be preceded by a loss of consciousness, almost always involves the loss of memory of the impact that caused the concussion.

Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:

  • Confusion
  • Amnesia
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue

Some symptoms of concussions are not apparent until hours or days later. They include:

  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Depression

Remember, if your child shows any of the symptoms above, it is important that they see a doctor as soon as possible to prevent any further injury to the brain.

For more information on brain injury, visit the Brain Injury of Washington Association online at

The Zackery Lystedt Law

  1. Requires all school districts and athletic non-profit organizations to disseminate educational materials developed by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) in order to educate coaches, youth athletes and their parents of the nature and risk of concussion and head injury.
  2. Requires an informational sheet to be signed by parents and youth athletes explaining the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
  3. Requires that a youth athlete who is “suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury” be removed from play. “When in doubt, sit them out.”
  4. Requires that a youth athlete who has been removed from play receive written clearance prior to returning to play from a licensed health care provider that is trained in the evaluation and management of concussion.

For more information, visit

Washington Youth Soccer

Washington Youth Soccer • 500 S. 336th St. Suite 100 • Federal Way, WA 98003
1-877-424-4318 (Toll Free) • (253) 4-SOCCER (476-2237)

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