We provide materials to help you make informed decisions about the health and safety of sports.

This information will help you understand the risks that come with different sports. It will help you recognize and, in some cases, prevent injuries to yourself or your teammates.  It will also help you participate in decisions about your treatment and return to sports if you have an injury.

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Exercise & Health
Nutrition & Hydration

Learning Center


Concussion management video A 15-minute video on the importance of understanding concussions and guidelines for removal from play and return to play after a concussion. Stanley Herring, MD, director of SHSI, serves as host.

Pocket Concussion Recognition Tool. A sideline tool to help parents, coaches and athletes recognize a concussion and know when a brain injury is an emergency.

Heads Up: Built for tablets and smartphones, “Rocket Blades” is a visually appealing experience with fun gameplay that entertains kids 6-8 while teaching about concussions.

Heads Up to Youth Sports: Athletes. An extensive set of resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They include:

Heads Up: A fact sheet for middle-school athletes A two-page handout on recognizing concussion symptoms, what to do if you think you have a concussion and how to help yourself and your team.

Heads Up: A fact sheet for high school athletes A two-page handout on recognizing concussion symptoms, what to do if you think you have a concussion and how to help yourself and your team.

Heads Up: Facts about Concussion and Brain Injury. A 20-page brochure about concussion, its signs and symptoms, tips for healing and where to get help.


Heads Up: Hoja Informativa para los Atletas (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Recent News
& More

State Laws Have Reduced Concussion Risks In High School Kids, Study Finds

Laws spearheaded by the director of UW Medicine’s Sports Health and Safety Institute, Stan Herring, MD, and colleagues have led to a noticeable nationwide decline in repeated concussions among teenage athletes. (Washington Post)

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Can You Predict Future Brain Damage? Hundreds of Pro Fighters Are Helping Researchers Find Out

The ambitious goal: to identify early signs of trauma-induced brain damage from subtle changes in blood chemistry, brain imaging and performance tests — changes that may show up decades before visible symptoms such as cognitive impairment, depression and impulsive behavior. (STAT)

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Concussion Recovery Is Slower in Girls, Mounting Evidence Suggests

Recent findings suggest female children and adolescents are more susceptible to head injuries, and may take longer to recover. (Scientific American)

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Is MRI Needed in Children with a Sports-related Concussion?

The UW’s Rob Bonow, MD, recently spearheaded a study with researchers that reviewed over 5 years of records from pediatric sports concussion patients. The study indicated that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in children with persistent symptoms after concussion rarely identified brain injury. (

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Head Trauma in High School Football May Be More Complicated Than We Thought

The increasingly polarized discussion over the risks of football has made an honest reckoning of the emerging science difficult. Nevertheless, several common-sense guidelines can be followed today. (Scientific American)

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Understanding Heat Stroke in 7 Steps

Athletes can develop life-threatening exertional heat stroke for a variety of reasons, but virtually none is acceptable among trainers and coaches who put player safety first. Summer training deaths from heat stroke serve as regular, harsh reminders of the importance of knowing how to prevent, recognize and properly treat this devastating condition.


Beat the summer heat

In this compilation of stories, find out what science says about training in the summer. Learn what you need to know about proper hydration in the heat, avoiding and treating debilitating heat cramps,  and the prevention, recognition and treatment of life-threatening heat stroke.


Recent News
& More

Obesity In Children and Teens Rose Sharply Worldwide Over Past 4 Decades

In just over four decades, obesity levels in children and teenagers have risen dramatically worldwide, though that rise has been far from uniform, according to a new study. (NPR)

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This Mistake Can Cost the Lives of Athletes in Cardiac Arrest

Athletes are dying from cardiac arrests that occur during play because teammates, coaches and other bystanders don’t know how to best save their lives, a new study claims. (Chicago Tribune)

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How did Conor McGregor shed weight for his fight against Mayweather?

In order to prepare for his superbout with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor first had to conquer the scale. His nutritionist explains how he prepared for the big fight. (STAT)

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Can You Run So Much You Get Rhabdo and Your Muscles Break Down?

A runner reading about a dangerous side-effect of high-intensity training wonders what her risks are. Dr. William O. Roberts explains the risks, and how to avoid it. (Runner’s World)

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Why a thriving brain needs a lifetime of exercise

There’s growing evidence that brains thrive on regular physical activity all the way from childhood to old age. (Sydney Morning Herald)

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Hydration in the heat for young athletes

Young athletes, parents and coaches frequently ask about safe ways to hydrate in the heat. They want to know how much—and what—to drink to safely perform at their best.

The answers aren’t simple. The scientific research is inconclusive, and experts disagree.

To help sort out the science and provide practical advice, we talked to E. Randy Eichner, M.D., professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center and former team internist for the Oklahoma Sooners football team. Eichner spent 14 years caring for Sooners football players in dauntingly hot conditions. And for three years he also served as a physician for the Hawaii Ironman, one of the longest, most grueling, and hottest athletic competitions in the U.S.

Muscle cramping in the heat

Muscle cramping is the bane of athletes playing in the heat. This painful problem can range from annoying to disabling. Find out why they happen, and how to prevent them from happening again in the future. Experts urge players who are at risk to salt their food and eat healthful salt-rich foods. Fad remedies can delay proper care.

Learning Center

Hydration. This site includes videos and information on hydration, including how to know if an athlete is hydrated, how much to drink and what to drink. (Korey Stringer Institute)

Hydration Kit. This two-page handout lists hydration supplies, from electrolyte freezer pops to pumper-style cooling stations. The handout provides prices and links to websites where individuals or teams can purchase them. (Korey Stringer Institute)

Exercise and fluid replacement. ACSM Position Stand. In-depth information and recommendations on hydration for athletes written by the leading experts in the field. (American College of Sports Medicine)

Recent News
& More

How Much Protein Do We Really Need?

Dr. Elizabeth Kirk, a Ph.D. in nutritional science, breaks down the benefits of protein and how it affects athletes’ overall performance and muscle mass. (University of Washington)

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Hydration 101: It’s More Than You Drink

UW dietician Jill Irvine explains that a 1.5% loss of water can trigger dehydration, leading to changes in mood, decreased energy and decreased mental clarity. Read about the best ways to keep from getting thirsty, including a list of foods with high water content. (University of Washington)

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Nutrition Science Isn’t Broken, It’s Just Wicked Hard

Unfortunately, news can’t wait until the scientific community reaches a consensus. So here are a few strategies you can use to identify which headlines you should pay attention to. (Washington Post)

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What to Know About Rhabdomyolysis, the Potentially Fatal Condition Caused by Extreme Exercise

Rhabdomyolysis is a rare but real risk of high-intensity workouts. Here’s how to spot the symptoms, and prevent it from happening to you. (Health)

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Winter Sports Safety Tips

Winter is a great time to enjoy outdoor sports, particularly downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. You can enhance your enjoyment of these winter activities and reduce your risk of injury by being prepared and following a few commonsense rules. (University of Washington Medicine)

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