To help spread the word about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) efforts to promote concussion awareness and proper response, we are looking for great bloggers to encourage their readers to learn more about CDC’s Heads Up programs. The CDC reminds us that traumatic brain injury (TBI), including concussion, is a serious public health problem in the United States. Each year, traumatic brain injuries contribute to a substantial number of deaths and cases of permanent disability. Data shows that, on average, approximately 1.7 million people die, are hospitalized, or are seen in an emergency department for a traumatic brain injury annually. Almost half a million emergency department visits for TBI that occur each year are among children aged 0 to 14 years.
Why is this important? Children and teens are more likely to get a concussion or TBI and take longer to recover than adults.
So what is a concussion? A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can literally cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging the brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain. What you might not know is that these chemical changes make the brain more vulnerable to further injury. During this window of vulnerability the brain is more sensitive to any increased stress or injury, until it fully recovers.
It’s important for parents, athletes, and coaches to know about concussion. So what should you do if you think your teen has a concussion? CDC developed the following 4-step Heads Up Action Plan to help you protect your child or teen if you suspect they have a concussion:
1. Keep your teen out of play. If your child or teen has a concussion, her/his brain needs time to heal. Don’t let your child or teen return to play the day of the injury and until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for concussion, says he or she is symptom-free and it’s OK to return to play. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the first—usually within a short period of time (hours, days, or weeks)—can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long-term problems. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in edema (brain swelling), permanent brain damage, and even death.
2. Seek medical attention right away. A health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for your child or teen to return to sports.
3. Teach your child or teen that it’s not smart to play with a concussion. Rest is key after a concussion. Sometimes athletes wrongly believe that it shows strength and courage to play injured. Discourage others from pressuring injured athletes to play. Don’t let your child or teen convince you that s/he’s “just fine.”
4. Tell all of your child or teen’s coaches and the school nurse about ANY concussion. Coaches, school nurses, and other school staff should know if your child or teen has ever had a concussion. Your child or teen may need to limit activities while s/he is recovering from a concussion. Things such as studying, driving, working on a computer, playing video games, or exercising may cause concussion symptoms to reappear or get worse. Talk to your health care professional, as well as your child or teen’s coaches, school nurse, and teachers. If needed, they can help adjust your child or teen’s school activities during her/his recovery.
In addition to this, the Heads Up campaign includes tailored educational materials and messages developed for specific audiences, such as:
To learn more about the Heads Up initiatives and to order your own materials, visit http://www.cdc.gov/concussion.
Please include this as the main point of your post and invite parents, coaches, and athletes to share their stories or ask CDC questions at www.facebook.com/cdcheadsup. In addition to this key messaging, include your ideas for protecting your family from traumatic brain injuries in your own words.
Please feel free to include these facts from the CDC in your blog post, but we’d also like you to share your own tips in your original words.
To participate, we ask that you:
1. Create an original blog post on your blog, in 400 words or more, about CDC’s Heads Up programs and tips for protecting your child or teen from concussion. Please include a thoughtful introduction and conclusion in addition to the facts and your detailed ideas for protecting your family. We’re trying to get the word out about protecting your family from concussion, and reminding readers that there are resources available online at:
2. Participants must include the following disclaimer as a footnote of their post:
“I wrote this blog post while participating in a SocialMoms blogging program for which I may receive a thank you kit.” For more information on how you can participate, click here.” (make sure you link to http://cdcheadsup.socialmoms.com/about)
4. Log on to your Twitter account, www.twitter.com, and send a tweet including a link to your blog post with the hashtag #CDCHeadsUp in order to help spread awareness to your followers.
5. Return to www.SocialMoms.com and post a comment on this discussion page in the comments section below, including an active link to your blog post and a direct link to your Twitter tweet. (You can click on the date/time link below your tweet to get the direct link to your tweet.)
No purchase required to participate. You must be a legal resident of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, have a personal blog and be a registered user of the www.socialmoms.com and www.twitter.com websites to participate and at least 18 years of age or older at time of submission. See Terms and Conditions.
More info: http://www.cdc.gov/concussion
Join the Facebook conversation: http://www.facebook.com/cdcheadsup
The blogging program starts on April 27, 2011 and the submission window closes at 11:59pm PST on May 26, 2011. Full terms and conditions are posted for your review at http://cdcheadsup.socialmoms.com/terms.
We’ll post excerpts from your blog entries on the SocialMoms CDC Heads Up hub page at http://cdcheadsup.socialmoms.com as a helpful resource for all to see.
Thank yous for helping share this information with your readers: The first 30 qualifying participants will receive a sports kit which may include items such as a clipboard, t-shirt, water bottle and/or dry erase board from the various Heads Up initiatives.
Here's mine: http://frugalfunfamily.com/?p=2684
Widget is installed, disclaimer included, post is waaay more than 400 words. :)
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This is such an important topic for parents of teens who play sports - just had to blog about it
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Disclaimer is there and it is lots longer than 400 words
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Heres a Link to my Post http://savingfor6.blogspot.com/2011/04/preventing-childhood-concuss... includes Disclosure
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Hi, I think this is very important to be aware of . Here are the links to my post and tweet.
widget installed, disclaimer included, post more than 400 words. Thanks!
As a parent of a child who suffered a brain injury from a fall in PE, I was thrilled to spread awareness!
blog post is at http://www.coltswish.com/2011/04/heads-up-on-brain-injury.html
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My post w disclaimer:
Link to my blog post: http://wp.me/pa8co-1vd
Link to my tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/NickiinNY/status/65096957827354624