(HealthDay News) -- A concussion is a brain injury that usually occurs from a violent blow to the head. People who participate in contact sports are particularly prone to this type of injury.

Symptoms of concussion may include: drowsiness, headache, loss of consciousness, memory loss, confusion, dizziness and difficulty communicating. Players who show any of these symptoms need immediate medical care and should not return to play until all of these symptoms subside and a physician clears them.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these suggestions to help reduce the likelihood of concussion:

  • Always wear appropriate protective gear, such as a helmet. Although no gear is completely concussion-proof, it helps to have as much protection as possible.
  • Always abide by all rules of the sport.
  • Encourage leagues and coaches participating in sports that allow head-first contact to consider rule changes.