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Institute of Medicine Seeks Concussion-Awareness PSAs From Youth-Athletes

From now through May 30, the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council are inviting athletes between the ages of 13 and 22 to submit one-minute public service announcements about the potential ramifications of concussions.

Participants must create videos centered on one of three topics:

  • How are you changing the culture of sports? What are you doing to overcome the "tough it out" and "playing hurt" mindsets?
  • What message do you have for your teammates, coaches, or parents about concussions?
  • How are your teammates and coaches working together to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion?

To enter, participants must upload their videos to YouTube, then submit the link on the Institute's website. The organizations will judge the videos based on creativity, potential public appeal, and effectiveness in conveying sports-related concussion information in an entertaining way.

Youth-athletes will be competing in three categories: middle school (grades 6-8), high school (grades 9-12), and post-high school (up to age 22). For each category, the first-place finisher will take home a $300 gift card, while two runners-up will receive a certificate noting their accomplishment. Any youth-athlete who submits a video will receive a certificate of participation for their efforts.

This PSA contest builds upon a report released by the IOM and NRC last year, which suggested that plenty of work remains in terms of changing the "no pain, no gain" culture of youth sports when it comes to head injuries. The committee responsible for writing the report discovered a significant rise in the number of youth-athletes treated for sports-related concussions (from 150,000 in 2001 and 250,000 in 2009). There was also a 57 percent jump in the rate of emergency department visits for sports-related concussions, according to the report.

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