SATURDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- People involved in winter sports such as hockey, downhill skiing and snowboarding are at risk for concussion, so they need to know about prevention and what to do if they suffer an injury.

Here are some tips from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Wear approved, properly fitted, and well-maintained protective equipment, such as helmets.
  • Know the symptoms and danger signs of a concussion, as well as the potential long-term consequences.
  • If you are a parent or coach, carry the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's four-step concussion action plan with you on the ice and on the slopes. Among other things, the plan will remind you to remove any young athletes with a concussion from play, have them evaluated by a medical professional right away, inform their parents about the concussion, and keep them out of play until a medical professional says it's all right for them to return to the slopes or hockey field.
  • Order a poster developed by the CDC, the National Football League, USA Hockey, the U.S. Ski and Snowboarding Association, and 12 other national governing bodies for sports. Display the poster in team locker rooms, gymnasiums, schools, ice rinks, and competition and tournament sites.

A concussion can be caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. Most people with a concussion recover quickly and fully, while other will have symptoms that last for days or weeks. The effects of more serious concussions can last for months or a lifetime, according to experts.

More information

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons has more about concussion.