Sports and Head Injury Prevention

Head injury can change a lifYoung family on country bike ridee in an instant, and it is preventable. Safe Kids San Diego works to keep children and teens safe in all sports and recreational activities.

Sports and Head Injury Prevention Task Force

The Sports and Head Injury Prevention Task Force is committed to providing education and connections to local resources to prevent injury and develop safe and healthy habits for a lifetime of active living.

Head injury is one of the most common injuries seen in San Diego, ranging from concussion to severe brain trauma. In 2016, the Sports and Head Injury Prevention Task Force developed an action plan to encourage and support helmet use for all children. California has a state law requiring the use of a helmet while riding bikes, skateboards, roller skates and scooters. Many children, however, are not wearing helmets and are suffering a variety of injuries, based on surveillance conducted by the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency.

The group with the greatest injuries and least compliance with helmet use is teenage skateboarders. Safe Kids San Diego has determined that reducing injuries in this group will require a culture change in the use of helmets. To this end, the task force is starting a campaign to change the culture and norms by making wearing a helmet while skateboarding as cool as wearing a helmet while snowboarding.

This campaign includes:

  • A social media campaign – please visit our Facebook page at Safe Kids San Diego to join the conversation.
  • Peer-to-peer education and presentations on head injury prevention and the importance of wearing a helmet.
  • “Rolling parties” at regional skate parks to encourage helmet use and to spread the word on injury prevention through local skateboarding celebrities and helmet artistry.

Please watch the video below of Paige Hargis and her son, Alex, and you’ll see why Paige is leading this Safe Kids Task Force. (Click here for more safety videos that you can share with your friends, family and community groups.)

Video: Helmet Safety


Safe Kids San Diego provides several presentations to educate families on preventing injuries that can affect athletes, including heat-related injuries, dehydration and overuse injuries.

Heads Up San Diego
This 45-minute presentation provides a brief overview of the anatomy of the brain, the mechanics of brain injury and the physiology of recovery. Prevention techniques (creating a culture of safety, proper protective equipment, early recognition and return to sport guidelines) will be presented. This presentation is given in lecture format with a pre- and post-test survey.

Duration: 45 minutes
Audience: Parents and coaches. Appropriate for parent-teacher organizations, club sports, scouting groups, boys and girls clubs. Group size: eight-20

Don’t Over Do It!
Keeping in the game often requires knowing when to step out when you are tired or overheated. Overuse injuries can have long-term effects, particularly in the young athlete. This 30-minute workshop will help parents, coaches and athletes recognize the warning signs of overuse injuries and heat-related illnesses. Creating a culture of safety and encouraging cross-training will be emphasized throughout this presentation.

Duration: 60 minutes
Audience: Parents and children, coaches. Appropriate for parent-teacher organizations, club sports, scout groups, and boys and girls clubs. Group size: eight-25

Join the WebRangers: 60 minutes

The National Park Service has developed an online program and interactive games to educate young children on keeping safe while enjoying the outdoors. This presentation uses several of these interactive tools in a small group format to provide education on hiking safety and drowning prevention while encouraging outdoor activity. Reading and games are incorporated.

Duration: 60 minutes

Audience: Children ages 5-10 years. Appropriate for scout groups, boys and girls clubs and summer camps

To become WebRangers and enjoy interactive and educational games to help prevent injuries while enjoying our national parks, please visit

To join the Sports and Head Injury Prevention Task Force or request a presentation, contact Safe Kids Coordinator Mary Beth Moran at