Sports-Related Concussion

Every year, about 4,000 New York children age 19 and younger are treated at hospitals for sports-related traumatic brain injuries.

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way the brain normally works. Concussions can occur from a fall, impact to the body, or collision that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.

Concussions can happen in any sport, but most often occur in contact sports, such as football, rugby, or ice hockey.

Public Health Law – Section 2595. Football programs; information on concussions.

Effective, 12/2/2019 tackle football programs in New York State are required to provide an informational packet about concussions and sub-concussive blows, and the injuries that might occur as a result of receiving such blows, to the parents or guardians of all children participating in tackle football programs.

Tackle football programs include any practice, game or other activity which involves engaging in tackle football and which is organized by a school, adult, or public or private league or other entity whose purpose is to allow children to participate in contact football.

The informational packet of resources provided below can be downloaded free of charge for distribution. Programs can select those resources that are most appropriate. Suggestions for distribution may include posting these resources to program websites, sharing via email or providing in print.

When in Doubt...Take Them Out!

The "When in Doubt...Take Them Out!" sports-related concussion prevention campaign is designed to empower coaches, parents, athletes, and school administrators to effectively prevent, recognize, and respond to concussions. The campaign includes a fact sheet for coaches and parents, a poster, a magnet, and a clip board for coaches.

These publications are available free of charge to New York State residents, schools and businesses. Please use this special order form to request copies of these materials. Other injury prevention publications are available through the New York State Department of Health Publication Catalog.

Additional Guidance Resources

The New York State Education Department has developed guidelines for concussion management in the school setting. You can view the guidelines at the New York State Education Department website.

In New York State, school nurses, certified athletic trainers, coaches, and physical education teachers are mandated to complete sports concussion management training every two years. You can find the approved courses at the New York State Education Department website.

LEARNet, a resource developed by the Brain Injury Association of New York State, includes a problem solving system designed to help identify useful procedures for helping students with brain injury in school and at home. You can access the system via the LEARNet website.

Contact Information

New York State Department of Health
Bureau of Occupational Health and Injury Prevention
Empire State Plaza-Corning Tower, Room 1325
Albany, New York 12237
injury@health.ny.gov