Brain Injury Awareness Month — March 2019

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Brain Injury Awareness Month, observed each March, was established 3 decades ago to educate the public about the incidence of brain injury and the needs of persons with brain injuries and their families (1). Caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to short- or long-term changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, or emotion.

A report in this issue of MMWR found that during 2010–2016, nearly 2 million children had a TBI-related emergency department visit because of sports- and recreation-related activities (2). TBIs associated with football, bicycling, playground activities, basketball, and soccer contributed to the majority of these visits (2).

Brain Injury Awareness Month is an opportunity to encourage broader implementation of evidence-based practices to reduce pediatric TBIs and their sequelae. Primary prevention efforts aimed at the leading causes of TBI among children are critical. If a TBI occurs, CDC supports the development of return to activity plans by health care providers, customized to a child’s symptoms, as well as linkages to services for children with persistent symptoms to promote positive health outcomes (3,4). Additional information is available at


  1. Brain Injury Association of America. March is brain injury awareness month. Vienna, VA: Brain Injury Association of America; 2018.
  2. Sarmiento K, Thomas K, Daugherty J, et al. Emergency department visits for sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries among children—United States, 2010–2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;68:237–42.
  3. Lumba-Brown A, Yeates KO, Sarmiento K, et al. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guideline on the diagnosis and management of mild traumatic brain injury among children. JAMA Pediatr 2018;172:e182853. CrossRef PubMed
  4. CDC. Report to Congress: the management of TBI in children. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2018.

Suggested citation for this article: Brain Injury Awareness Month — March 2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;68:237. DOI:

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