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Evan M. Dobbs, R.J. Elbin, Ph.D., Melissa N. Anderson, & Morgan N. Anderson. University of Arkansas/Office for Sport Concussion Research, Fayetteville, Arkansas; e-mail: emdobbs@uark.edu

Youth athletes demonstrate longer recovery from concussion, which has led to increased media attention surrounding this injury. This has led to an increased awareness of concussion for parents of youth athletes that may result in an increase in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors for concussion. This awareness may increase the incidence rate of concussion in youth. There are limited data on injury rates for concussion in youth, and additional work examining parent knowledge, attitudes and behaviors is needed. PURPOSE: To document injury rates for SRC in youth football and examine SRC knowledge, attitudes, and reporting behaviors for SRC in youth football parents and coaches. METHODS: One hundred ninety-two youth football athletes (5-13 years) and 170 youth football parents/legal guardians and coaches participated in this study. Athlete exposures (AEs) for SRC were gathered for all practices and games, and all parents/legal guardians and coaches completed a validated survey on SRC knowledge, attitudes, and reporting behaviors. Injury rates for SRC among practice and games were calculated and descriptive statistics were performed to describe current knowledge, attitudes, and reporting behaviors. RESULTS: Two concussions occurred during the season and a total of 3,573 AEs were recorded for practices and game yielding an overall injury rate of 0.56 SRC/1,000 AEs. Approximately 50% (81/161) of parents reported talking to their child about concussion and more than half 57% (96/163) of parents reported considering not allowing their child to play youth tackle football. CONCLUSION: Incidence rates for SRC in youth football players are lower than documented rates in high school and college athletes, however the majority of parents report considering not allowing their children to play football.

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