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Brain Injury Awareness Month --- March 2010

This year, in recognition of Brain Injury Awareness Month, CDC encourages school professionals, coaches, parents, and athletes to learn the risks for concussions in youth sports. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head.

An estimated 135,000 sports and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, are treated in U.S. emergency departments each year (1). Most persons with a concussion recover fully. However, returning to sports and other regular activities too quickly can prolong recovery time, sometimes for months. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the first can be very dangerous and might slow recovery or increase the chances for long-term problems.

To date, CDC has disseminated approximately 1.3 million educational pieces on concussion in sports for health-care professionals, coaches, parents, and athletes (2). CDC's next steps include an online training course for coaches on concussion prevention, recognition, and response. CDC also will be launching a national initiative that consists of educational materials for school professionals who work with students aged 5--18 years (or in grades K-12). The new initiative, Heads Up to Schools: Know Your Concussion ABCs, will focus on the prevention, recognition, and response to concussion in schools. Additional information about concussions in sports is available at http://www.cdc.gov/concussion.

References

  1. CDC. Sports-related recurrent brain injuries---United States. MMWR 1997;46:224--7.
  2. Sarmiento K. Evaluation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's concussion initiative for high school coaches: ''Heads up: Concussion in High School Sports.'' J Sch Health 2010;80:112--8.


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