American Academy of Emergency Medicine


Play Smart, Your Brain Matters: DC Concussion Awareness

The District of Columbia is the first city in the nation to receive funding to explore and enforce the Athletic Concussion Protection Act of 2011 through education and awareness activities. Funded by the DC Department of Health, experts from Children’s National Health System, Medstar Sports Medicine, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, DC State Athletic Association, and Brain Injury Association of DC, have teamed up to certify and instruct District youth, parents, coaches, and school personnel on how to recognize a concussion, and decide when it is safe to return to working, learning, and playing.

Through the grant, the organizations are aiming to support the law and spread awareness, by establishing a toolkit that other states and jurisdictions can successfully adopt and implement for their young athletes to avoid long-term health dangers associated with the failure to recognize and treat concussions. So far, the public awareness campaign reached 5,558 students, parents, coaches, and community members in the District of Columbia through 15 community events and the concussion training program has been completed by over 600 coaches, athletic trainers, and school nurses in the District of Columbia.

In addition to hosting trainings and raising awareness, this program will help to address the communication between primary care providers and emergency department physicians. Health Information Technology Solutions (HITS) for Kids will be working in the background of this program to ensure open communications and follow up care between an athlete’s parents, emergency and primary care physicians.

Learn more!