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Dr. Stan Miller, Jefferson College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA.


Concussions in sports is a topic that has been studied extensively in the varsity level up to the professional level and even had a Hollywood movie made on the topic, yet the research is severely lacking at the youth level. A major barrier to concussion prevention is the attitudes and beliefs of the players, coaches, and parents regarding the seriousness of the consequences of concussions in the still-developing brain. Our grant proposal, “Evaluation of the “Hit Count” as a Concussion Prevention Strategy in a Youth (4-14 years old) Football League,” seeks to expand an existing intervention in youth baseball, translate it to youth football, and evaluate the efficacy. The “Hit Count” intervention, developed by the Concussion Legacy Foundation (CLF), builds on the idea from youth baseball that there are a maximum number of pitches a young player can throw before risking damage to his or her growing arm. Translating this to youth football, the CLF proposes that there are a maximum number of hits to the head that a player can sustain before risking injury to the developing brain. Since the “Pitch Count” intervention already has the buy-in from participants in this age group, we believe it has the potential to change the beliefs and attitudes of participants in other sports as well. By involving students and staff at a small private school in the Philadelphia area, our study aims to utilize helmet sensors to establish and evaluate the “Hit Count” intervention using Community Based Participatory Research. Data from this pilot study will be used in future grant applications for larger randomized community trials.

Presentation: 15:39