NFL launches concussion awareness PSA

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On the heels of the National Football League announcing it will impose more stringent rules for teams to manage player concussions, the league has launched a PSA in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The PSA, which launched on December 10, urges players, coaches, trainers and parents to know the facts, symptoms and warning signs of concussions.

The PSA drives viewers to www.cdc.gov/concussion, where users can get more information on concussions, including how to recognize one, facts about brain injuries and statistics on sports injuries.

The PSA, which was created in-house, will air on NFL network partner stations including CBS, ESPN, FOX, NBC and the NFL Network. It's also being promoted on NFL.com, team Web sites and on Twitter feeds, including the NFL's, which has more than 1.4 million followers.

“This PSA is part [of] an ongoing educational program involving the CDC, USA Football and the NFL Youth Football Fund. We have had a working relationship for the past two years to help educate athletes, coaches, parents and others about sports concussions,” said Brian McCarthy, spokesperson for the NFL, in an e-mail to DMNews. “We hope that this PSA will provide additional opportunities for the public to learn about concussions and the necessary steps to take to help prevent, recognize and respond to this injury.”

The new guidelines from the NFL, issued December 2, require that players who exhibit any significant sign of a concussion be removed from practice or a game for the reminder of the day. Previously, the NFL allowed players to return to action if the symptoms seemed to dissipate. Now, players must be cleared by an independent expert to return to play.

Quarterbacks Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals and Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers are two of the NFL's stars who have recently suffered head injuries.

Calls to the CDC were not returned.

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