National Concussion Awareness Day Date in the current year: September 20, 2024

National Concussion Awareness Day National Concussion Awareness Day is observed on the third Friday of September. It was created to remind people that not all injuries are immediately visible and educate the general public about the common signs and symptoms of concussion.

A concussion, also known as a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), is a head injury that temporarily affects the normal functioning of the brain. The common signs and symptoms of a concussion can be divided into four big groups:

  • physical: headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, extreme sensitivity to light and/or noise, post-traumatic amnesia (a state of confusion immediately after the injury);
  • emotional: irritability, impulsiveness, anxiety, sadness, mood swings, changes in personality;
  • cognitive: difficulty thinking clearly, finding words, keeping up with conversations, and learning new information;
  • sleep-related: difficulty falling asleep, restless sleep, sleeping more than usual, not feeling rested after enough hours of sleep.

Any of concussion symptoms may be evident immediately following the injury or manifest themselves hours or even days afterwards. Because of this, it is important to always seek medical attention for a head injury, even when the injured person seems fine.

According to statistics, between 70 and 90% of all head injuries that are treated by medical professionals are concussions. The incidence of concussions is higher in children and young adults. Concussions make up approximately 5% of all sports injuries, with female athletes being at greater risk of sustaining a concussion than their male counterparts. Interestingly, outside of sports, men are more likely to experience a concussion than women.

National Concussion Awareness Day has been observed every third Friday of September since 2016. It was founded by Brooke Mills, a student from New Hampshire who suffered a concussion as a high school freshman. She created the day to raise awareness of millions of concussions that happen each year and highlight the importance of recognizing concussions and treating them appropriately.

National Concussion Awareness Day is registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office and recognized by the Brain Injury Association of America. It is observed by healthcare professionals, coaches, teachers, parents, non-profit organizations, and patient support groups from across the country. They come together at special events held throughout the United States to discuss the best ways to increase concussion awareness, support those suffering from traumatic brain injuries, and prevent concussions whenever possible.

If you’ve ever suffered a concussion, or cared for someone with a mild traumatic brain injury, you can observe National Concussion Awareness Day by sharing your story on social media to raise concussion awareness and encourage people not to take concussions lightly. Other ways to observe the day include educating yourself about concussions, hosting an educational event for your community, organizing a fundraiser to benefit a non-profit that focuses on brain injury awareness, or signing up for a first aid course in your area.

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