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Creating education and awareness

CDC works to get Heads Up concussion materials into the hands of many, ranging from health care and school professionals, parents, coaches, and athletes. And now we need your help to reach out to your community, to improve prevention, recognition, and response to concussion in youth and teens both on and off the playing field.

Below are some ideas to get you started, ranging from small activities to larger-scale efforts to engage other health care professionals, coaches, parents, and athletes, and even policy makers. Whether you start with a small or large effort, you can make a huge difference in educating your community about concussion and keeping young athletes safe.

Get your community involved:

  • Send out Heads Up resources to leagues and schools in your area.
  • Host a Grand Rounds on this topic for other health care professionals.
  • Distribute concussion resources at health care professional conferences and forums, as well as at coaching clinics and in residency packets.
  • Work with schools and leagues to Include Heads Up resources in registration packets.
  • Post links to CDC’s Heads Up materials and online trainings, as well as other free resources, on your Web site.
  • Send educational messages on concussion safety though your social media channels. This is an important way to reach a large number of people.
  • Include concussion education messages and links to resources in blogs, newsletters, eNewsletter, and publications.

Momentum-building activities:

  • Work with CDC to create a Heads Up [state/city] campaign. This can include:
    Adapting the Heads Up logo for your city and state. See example below:
    Headsup Pittsburg Logo
  • Partnering with other professional teams, schools and colleges, and youth leagues to host educational trainings on concussion for other health care professionals, parents, coaches and athletes. As part of this, you can:
    • Air concussion public service announcements (PSAs) at local games/events.
    • Create a Heads Up game night and distribute free concussion resources to attendees.
    • Host a Heads Up logo-design contest or a short video contest to give kids and teens the opportunity to educate other young athletes about this issue. Winners could be displayed/aired at the Heads Up game night.
    • Enlist the support of the team’s medical staff to educate other health care professionals about concussion management and return-to-play protocols.


Media-outreach activities:

  • Partner with local online, print, radio, and TV journalists and producers to create and air educational PSAs on concussion.
  • Host a live chat through Twitter.
  • Educate your media contacts, and work with them to include concussion prevention and safety tips in community media outlets and at media events.


Understanding Policy

In 2008, Washington and Oregon enacted the Zackery Lystedt Law (1) and Max’s law (2), respectively, on sports concussion among school-aged athletes. To date, multiple other states across the U.S. have also taken action to address this issue through legislation. Many of these state laws include one or more of the following three components:

(1) Inform and educate coaches, youth athletes and their parents and guardians about concussion and require parents and athletes to sign a concussion information form.

(2) Remove a youth athlete who appears to have sustained a concussion from play or practice at the time of the suspected concussion.

(3) Require a youth athlete to be cleared by a licensed health care professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussion before returning to play or practice.

Before the start of the season, it is important to understand your state, league, or sports governing body’s laws or policies on concussion. To learn more about concussion in sports legislation, visit: http://www.nflhealthandsafety.com

References:
1. Washington State.  Engrossed House Bill 1824, Chapter 475, Laws of 2009, 61st Legislature, 2009 Regular Session.  Effective: July 26, 2009.  Available from: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2009-10/Pdf/Bills/Session%20Law%202009/1824.SL.pdf.  Accessed January 3, 2011.
2. Oregon state. Senate Bill 348. 75th Oregon Legislative Assemble—2009 Regular Session. Available from: http://www.leg.state.or.us/09reg/measures/sb0300.dir/sb0348.en.html. Accessed July 3, 2011.

 

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    Contact CDC’s Injury Center:

    For questions or comments, or to order CDC’s Heads Up resources, contact CDC at CDC-INFO@cdc.gov or 1-800-CDC-INFO.


     

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