Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports

The NFL, USA Football and 25 other medical organizations and youth sports entities teamed with the CDC in 2007 on the “Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports” campaign. The focus of the national “Heads Up”initiative is to improve prevention, recognition, response and management of concussions across all youth sports. A tool kit was developed to provide comprehensive materials to physicians, coaches, parents and athletes. Visit the CDC website now to download the Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports toolkit.

Since youth sports administrators play a vital role in sharing educational materials with their coaches, the campaign encourages youth sports program administrators to order and distribute the tool kits to the coaches in their programs at the beginning of the sports season.

The CDC developed partnerships with more than 26 leading health, sports and national organizations. Notably, the NFL is the only participating sports league and USA Football is the only national sports governing body.

Building on the educational outreach of the “Heads Up” initiative and targeting the focus to athletes, the NFL and CDC jointly developed an educational poster regarding concussion prevention, awareness and treatment. The NFL mandated that the poster be prominently displayed in every locker room across the league, making a clear statement about the need for elevated concussion awareness.

As a part of a collective initiative among the NFL, CDC, USA Football and 12 other national sport governing bodies, the NFL created a version of the concussion awareness locker room poster aimed at youth athletes.

A corresponding fact sheet (available in both English and Spanish) for youth athletes is also available. The poster and fact sheet may be downloaded at the CDC’s website.

The NFL created versions of the youth concussion locker room poster and fact sheet customized with each of the 32 NFL teams’ colors and logos. The materials will be distributed to youth athletes from the communities surrounding the stadiums of each team. To view a version of the poster branded for the entire league and CDC, click here. For the fact sheet, click here.

In December 2009 the NFL, in conjunction with the CDC, produced and aired a public service announcement (PSA) devoted to youth athletes as well as their parents and coaches regarding the importance of concussion awareness and the necessary steps to take in order to help prevent, recognize and respond to concussions.

Additional videos and downloadable resources are available on the CDC’s website.

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