The AAN urges members to join in its efforts to reach out to all high school coaches, athletes, and parents to learn the signs of sports concussion and to know when a player must leave the game. The call to action is part of the Academy’s latest education campaign, which includes new tools to reduce the estimated four million sports concussions experienced each year in the United States.
The Academy’s website includes links to two free 20-minute online safety courses for high school and youth coaches that were created by the University of Michigan Neurosport program and endorsed by the Academy.
The Academy’s website also has free downloadable Coaches Cards on how to spot concussion and what to do if a player receives one. Coaches and players are encouraged to keep these cards with their athletic gear for easy access. Public service announcements also will air on radio stations nationwide.
"We hope AAN members will support this effort by contacting schools in their areas and making coaches and physical education instructors aware of these helpful tools," said Jeffrey Kutcher, MD, MPH, chair of the AAN’s Sports Neurology Section and also director of the University of Michigan’s Neurosport program that created the online safety courses endorsed by the Academy. "This is a perfect opportunity to not only make these people aware of the critical nature of concussion, but also the role that neurologists play in diagnosing and treating these types of injuries. The more outreach we can do, the better the public will understand brain injuries and the importance of our profession"