Opportunities to Reshape the Culture Around Concussion in Sports

Creating a Safe Sport Culture

Athletes thrive when they:

Have fun playing their sport. Receive positive messages and praise from their coaches for concussion symptom reporting. Have parents who talk with them about concussion and model and expect safe play. Feel comfortable reporting symptoms of a possible concussion to coaches. Support their teammates sitting out of play if they have concussion. Get written instructions from a health care provider on when to return to school and play.

A strong focus on health and safety in sports can help keep young athletes safe.

We need to build a culture in sports where athletes take steps to lower their chances of getting a concussion and recognize and report concussion symptoms so that they can seek care and take time to recover. This involves moving beyond general knowledge of concussion and changing the way we talk about and respond to concussion so that athletes know they cannot play with a concussion or hide their symptoms.

While research is ongoing to help identify the best approach to changing the culture of concussion in sports, there are action steps that coaches, parents, health care providers, and school professionals can take now to help keep young athletes safe and supported as they pursue the sports they love to play.

CDC created, “Concussion at Play: Opportunities to Reshape the Culture Around Concussion” report to provide a snapshot on current research on concussion knowledge, awareness, attitudes, and behaviors. Based on these findings, the report includes potential strategies to help keep athletes safe.