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Imagine this: you’re in the produce section of the grocery store, looking for healthy fruits and vegetables. It’s going to be a busy week, and you want to make healthy choices for snacks and meals.

As you navigate your cart toward the bananas, you cut a turn too sharply, knocking the side of the cantaloupe bin. A cantaloupe topples to the floor with a thud.

Embarrassed, you return the melon to the pile, inspecting it to make sure there isn’t any damage. There’s none that you can see, so the melon should be good, right?

It’s a scenario like this that served as inspiration for the Melon family, a cast of characters recently debuted by the Concussion Awareness Now coalition to help reinforce our messages of concussion education and awareness. Just like a melon, your brain can suffer damage without anything apparent appearing on the outside. That’s why it’s important to make sure people who hit their head take the time to get it checked by a medical professional. Most concussions happen without visible damage.

Concussion Awareness Now has introduced the Melons to help educate people about concussions and the importance of seeking care after an injury. “Melon” is a popular casual reference to one’s head, so the aim is to connect the characters to concussion awareness by both name and the fact that a damaged fruit can have many similarities with an injured brain.

We hope the Melons raise awareness both about the common ways concussions happen (accidents and falls) and the importance of getting concussions evaluated. The Melon family was designed to connect with a wide audience by delivering messages about concussion awareness in a relatable way. The characters span three generations: grandparents, parents and children because anyone, of any age, can get a concussion.

Each public service announcement features a Melon character hitting his or her head in a different way: slipping on a toy, texting and walking, tripping over the family pet during a virtual reality game, and playing pickleball. Each spot ends with the tagline, “Don’t mess with your melon – if you hit it, get it checked.” The campaign is launching across digital and social channels, so hopefully you’ll see their friendly faces on TV or as you’re scrolling across the internet. You can also watch each of the videos right here on our website. Simply click the links at the top of our homepage or below to check them out.

By introducing the Melons, we also want to clear up many of the misconceptions about concussions. A survey of 3,000 people conducted by the coalition in November of 2022 found that even though only 3% of concussions that present to the emergency room are the result of sports injuries, 84% of respondents believed athletes are the most at risk for concussion. The leading cause of concussions is slips and falls.

The Melon family is lovable, and a little goofy at times, but their message is straightforward and serious: don’t mess with your melon – if you hit it, get it checked. Educate yourself about the symptoms of concussions and if you or a loved one is experiencing any of the signs, or if you’re not sure, take the time to have it checked out.