Prevalence of concussion-related policies and practices among public school districts in the U.S., 2012 and 2016
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Prevalence of concussion-related policies and practices among public school districts in the U.S., 2012 and 2016

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  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      J Public Health Manag Pract
    • Description:

      Beginning in 2009, there was an increase in the number of states that had laws addressing three different components of youth sport-related concussion prevention and management: concussion education, removal from play, and medical clearance. Schools are an important setting to implement policies and practice related to concussions as many youth participate in organized sports through school venues.


      To examine whether the prevalence of concussion-related policies adopted by school districts changed from 2012 to 2016, two time points that correspond to the administration of the SHPPS


      This study used nationally representative data from the School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS). Comprehensive district concussion-related policies were defined as those that address removal from play after injury, medical clearance before returning to play, and concussion-related educational materials and sessions for parents and student athletes.


      Among school districts nationwide, the prevalence of comprehensive policies significantly increased from 51.6% in 2012 to 66.7% in 2016. While these findings are promising, it is important to note that one-third of districts still lacked comprehensive policies in 2016, and only 71% of districts provided educational sessions in 2016.


      The findings in this study highlight improvements in school districts nationwide in adopting concussion related policies and practices. State laws addressing youth sport-related concussions are intended to promote player safety and improve the identification and management of concussions experienced among youth while playing sports. Policies like requiring educational sessions allow parents and student athletes to learn about concussions and understand the importance of reporting a concussion or concussion symptoms.

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