Availability of Concussion Information in Spanish for Parents of Youth Athletes

Health Promot Pract. 2019 May;20(3):372-380. doi: 10.1177/1524839918790231. Epub 2018 Aug 28.


All but one U.S. state has passed legislation requiring that concussion information be provided to parents of youth participants in school-sponsored sport. Such information should be accessible and easily understood if it is to be used by parents to make informed decisions regarding their children's health and safety. Accessing and understanding information about concussion may be challenging for parents who lack fluency in English. The current study sought to describe the extent and nature of Spanish-language concussion information available on the websites of U.S. public high school athletic associations. We also examined information provided by leading youth sports and health organizations as well as the top U.S. children's hospitals. We sought to quantify the proportion of these websites with Spanish-language translation of concussion education materials and describe the readability, accessibility, and completeness of these translations. Only one quarter of the websites examined contained any concussion information in Spanish, and none of these websites offered a mirrored Spanish-language translation. Spanish information was also difficult to access, with the search process requiring English-language ability. Finally, the readability of the concussion information in both English and Spanish was higher than recommended guidelines. Our findings suggest that non-English-speaking parents may be inadequately informed about concussion because translation of concussion educational materials is absent, incomplete, or hard to access. This raises questions about whether they are able to provide informed consent for their children's participation in contact sport and suggests the need for improved translation of such informational materials.

Keywords: Spanish; adolescent; brain concussion; child; consumer health information; sports; traumatic brain injury.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries*
  • Brain Concussion*
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Male
  • Parents / education*
  • Sports
  • Sports Medicine / methods