Abbott urges concussion awareness in Don’t Mess With Your Melon push


The company’s newly assembled coalition, Concussion Awareness Now, hopes to raise awareness about concussions and brain injuries.

The melons show how concussions take place in everyday situations.

Abbott is delving into concussion and brain injury awareness with the launch of a new campaign, led by its advocacy coalition Concussion Awareness Now.

The campaign, “Don’t Mess With Your Melon,” follows a family named the Melons. All family members, of course, have melons as heads.

In a series of public service announcement-style videos, the Melons partake in everyday activities, showing how often concussions occur in seemingly mundane situations. The goal of the campaign is twofold: to raise awareness about the frequency of concussions, but also to underscore the importance of having them checked by a medical professional, rather than brushing them off.

“Too often people think it’s OK to walk off a possible concussion,” Dr. Beth McQuiston, a neurologist and medical director at Abbott’s diagnostic business, said in a statement. “But like a bruised melon, which can suffer unseen damage beneath the surface, a concussion is a serious injury that isn’t always obvious to the naked eye.”

“By driving awareness, we hope more people will seek care for possible concussions when they hit their head, because you can’t treat what you don’t know,” McQuiston added.

The campaign references a survey fielded by Concussion Awareness Now in 2022, which sought to examine just how much people knew about concussions. Among the 3,000 respondents, 84% believed that athletes are at the highest risk for concussions — even though only about 3% of concussions at the emergency room are linked to sports injuries.

The survey also found that 56% of respondents assumed that you have to hit your head to get a concussion, even though the coalition notes that concussions can be caused by a sudden jolt to the body.

The main reason that people don’t end up seeking care for a concussion is because they don’t believe the symptoms are severe enough to warrant a hospital or doctor visit, the survey concluded.

The campaign features a dedicated page on its website outlining concussion symptoms, which include headaches, vision issues, dizziness, nausea and mental fog.

In another video in the series, a member of the Melon family slips on a toy in the living room and bonks his head.

Abbott launched Concussion Awareness Now in December, with actor Rebel Wilson serving as the organization’s public face. Wilson, who suffered a concussion in 2017 after slipping on wet grass on the set of a movie, has dedicated herself to raising awareness about brain injuries.

In February, Concussion Awareness Now launched a one-minute PSA in which Wilson urged people to “get their melon checked” if they experience a hit, bump or jolt.

“Don’t mess with your melon – if you hit it, get it checked,” Wilson said in the spot.

This story first appeared on 

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