Concussions for Parents and Coaches
The Heads-Up Program is run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and helps to inform parents and coaches of the signs and symptoms of concussions in athletes. The program defines a concussion as “a type of traumatic brain injury that changes the way the brain normally works” (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.). The problem that the program addresses is a lack of knowledge between parents and coaches towards concussions. According to Nationwide Children’s, the underreporting of concussions is a large problem with coaches; they are sometimes willing to risk their athletes health in order to possibly have a better chance at winning a game. They also say that if an athlete has one or more of the signs and symptoms of a concussion, then he should be held out of competition for the rest of the day, and until he sees a physician to be cleared. Coaches often have a hard time abiding by these rules because they are sometimes willing to do whatever it takes to win. Oftentimes, the parents think the same way as the coaches do; they want their son or daughter to compete at the highest level possible, so they continue to push when it might not be the best decision.
The health behavior that is desired is to have parents and coaches well informed about concussions and the importance of correctly recognizing when an athlete possibly has a concussion, and then reporting it and bringing the athlete to a physician. According to the CDC, emergency departments treat an estimated 173,285 sports related concussions, so it is of vital importance for coaches and parents to be informed to keep the athletes safe.