|Health Factors:||Community Safety|
|Decision Makers:||Community Members Educators Nonprofit Leaders|
|Population Reach:||1-9% of WI's population|
|Impact on Disparities:|
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Education regarding sports-related brain injuries informs coaches, athletes, and parents of the severity of sports-related brain injuries or concussions, as well as proper prevention, detection, and treatment. Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury that can occur through a fall or collision, or a blow to the head which causes the brain to move back and forth (CDC-Concussion). Education to prevent concussions in youth sports can be delivered through a combination of in-person lessons, videos, factsheets, or quizzes.
Educating coaches, athletes, and parents about sports-related brain injuries is a suggested strategy to reduce concussions among youth athletes and prevent athletes from playing through concussion symptoms (McCrory 2009, CDC-Concussion). Available evidence suggests that in-person education and written materials may be more effective than video lessons and quizzes in increasing coach awareness of concussions; athlete attitudes toward self-reporting symptoms may still be barriers to coach awareness (Rivara 2014). Education programs that use multiple educational techniques may be more effective than programs that use one method (Chrisman 2014). However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects.
As of May 2015, all states have enacted a youth sports traumatic brain injury (TBI) law; additional TBI-specific trainings for coaches are required by law in 27 states (LawAtlas-TBI). Most laws include education for coaches, parents, and athletes as a key action step, and require that an athlete who is suspected to have a concussion be removed from play (CDC-Concussion). Some schools and leagues supplement state laws with other policies, including an increased focus on education.
Wisconsin passed concussion legislation in 2012 which requires all youth athletic organizations to educate parents, coaches, and athletes on concussion-risk. The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association medical advisory committee has developed concussion guidelines, information, and educational resources for schools and other youth sports programs to use in their educational programs (WIAA-Concussions).
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