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Community Engagement Strategies for Developing and Implementing a City Wide Concussion Management Policy
Community Engagement Strategies for Developing and Implementing a City Wide Concussion Management Policy
Submitted on 24 Feb 2016

Katherine Snedaker, 1 Advisor Dr. Alex Donaldson 2
1 Pink Concussions, Norwalk, Connecticut 2 Federation University | Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP)
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Poster Abstract
While warnings about concussions in youth sports have been in the press for several years now, there have been very few reports of communities addressing concussions in any systematic way across all youth sports. And due to the volunteer aspect of youth sports, many states had been unable to enact concussion laws similar to those laws that now govern high schools athletes. There is no doubt that ignoring the signs of a concussion increases the risk of serious injury and increases liability for coaches and city/school (whoever owns the fields on which the sports are being played); but achieving universal coach training, on-going parent/athlete education and youth sport concussion policies has been elusive for most communities.

C4 Project is multi-faceted research, education and policy program involving four key stakeholders (Schools, Youth Sports, Medical Providers, City Gov't) to understand, address and reduce youth concussion in the city of Norwalk, CT. Stakeholders were involved in all stages of the project and continue to offer data and provide feedback as the project enters its second year.

The C4 project has combined research, policy change and education to achieve its goals. First, data was collected from any concussions reported to school nurse or ATs by the 11,000 Norwalk Students during for the 2014-15 school year. Based on this data, youth sport policy was enacted through city guidelines via parks & rec permits ensuring sports teams provided coach training and concussion education. And the final stage is scheduled for July 2015, will be the training and co-ordination of all city medical providers. With a common vision and coordinated effort among all stakeholders, there is chance for real and lasting change. The past success and ongoing work in Norwalk, CT, is a model for other communities to make lasting change in concussion care of children.

Qualitative data was collected of all youth concussions from ages of 5 to 18, by through the schools nurses to learn specifics about the concussions in the city, set benchmarks and revise the program for changes in subsequent years.Report abuse »
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