About the HEADS UP Campaign

At a glance

CDC's HEADS UP program helps healthcare providers, school professionals, athletic trainers, and others diagnose and manage concussions. HEADS UP materials are the go-to resource for concussion prevention and education.

Educating people and communities

Heads Up: CDC HEADS UP 20 Year Anniversary - From 2003 to 2023
Heads Up 20 Year Anniversary: CDC HEADS UP 20th Anniversary occurred in 2023.

CDC HEADS UP is a collection of online trainings, videos, PSAs, posters, fact sheets, and more. Millions of people use these trainings and resources to raise awareness about concussion in their communities.

CDC HEADS UP is the go-to resource for concussion prevention and education. We have:

  • Reached more than 200 million people through ad campaigns, PSAs, and more.
  • Partnered with more than 85 organizations across the fields of athletics, healthcare, public health, education, and scientific research.
  • Educated over 10 million participants across six online training courses designed for coaches, healthcare providers, school professionals, athletic trainers, and sports officials.
  • Created over 100 communication products to promote concussion prevention and care.

Research to action

CDC HEADS UP educational initiatives and materials align with the best scientific evidence available on concussion prevention and management. Studies show that CDC HEADS UP materials:

  • Increase communication about concussion between athletes and their parents. 1
  • Reach a large number of coaches and parents and improve their knowledge about concussions.234
  • Lead coaches and others to view concussion more seriously.356
  • Increase the capacity of youth sports coaches to appropriately prevent, recognize, and respond to sports-related concussions.6
  • Improve knowledge about symptom resolution and return-to-play recommendations.36
  • Improve awareness of under-reporting of concussions among athletes.3

CDC HEADS UP to the future!

CDC developed the HEADS UP initiative in response to the Children’s Health Act of 2000 to improve awareness of mild traumatic brain injury—an under-diagnosed and under-identified injury. We have made great strides in building, improving, and supporting concussion safety around the country. We plan to do much more. Exciting upcoming CDC HEADS UP initiatives include:

  • An updated and expanded training for youth sports coaches—the most popular CDC HEADS UP product.
  • Resources to help parents of toddlers and young children learn about concussion safety, prevention, and care.
  • Enhanced efforts to reduce disparities through concussion education tailored for American Indian/Alaska Native, Black, and Hispanic parents and youth.
  1. Zhou, H., Ledsky, R., Sarmiento, K., DePadilla, L., Kresnow, M.J., Kroshus, E. (2022). Parent–Child communication about concussion: What role can the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's HEADS UP concussion in youth sports handouts play? Brain Injury, 36:9, 1133-1139, https://doi.org/10.1080/02699052.2022.2109740.
  2. Parker, E. M., Gilchrist, J., Schuster, D., Lee, R., & Sarmiento, K. (2015). Reach and Knowledge Change Among Coaches and Other Participants of the Online Course: "Concussion in Sports: What You Need To Know". Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 30(3), 198–206. https://doi.org/10.1097/HTR.0000000000000097.
  3. Daugherty, J., DePadilla, L., & Sarmiento, K. (2019). Effectiveness of the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention Heads Up Coaches' Online Training as an Educational Intervention. Health Education Journal, 78(7), 784–797. https://doi.org/10.1177/0017896919846185.
  4. Rice, T., & Curtis, R. (2019). Parental Knowledge of Concussion: Evaluation of the CDC's "HEADS UP to Parents" Educational Initiative. Journal of Safety Research, 69, 85–93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsr.2019.02.007.
  5. Daugherty, J., DePadilla, L., Sarmiento, K. (2020). Assessment of HEADS UP online training as an educational intervention for sports officials/athletic trainers. Journal of Safety Research, 74:133-141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsr.2020.04.015.
  6. Covassin, T., Elbin, R. J., & Sarmiento, K. (2012). Educating Coaches About Concussion in Sports: Evaluation of the CDC's "HEADS UP: Concussion In Youth Sports" Initiative. The Journal of School Health, 82(5), 233–238. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2012.00692.x.