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Improving concussion prevention and education

Limestone Learning Foundation
Improving concussion prevention and education
Posted on 09/23/2019

Rowan's Law Day is a day to engage students, staff, coaches, and parents/guardians in activities that increase awareness about concussions and to share Rowan Stringer’s story. It will be recognized this year on September 25, 2019. 

In March of 2018, the Ontario government passed a law known as Rowan’s Law. Designed to protect amateur athletes, including students, and to educate parents/guardians, coaches, teachers, community sports organizations, and officials about the dangers of concussions.  

The Limestone District School Board (LDSB) has strict concussion protocols and concussion management procedures including having a return to school and return to physical activity plan for any student who has a concussion. Stricter protocols, increased concussion awareness and prevention have been in place in Limestone schools for several years. 

“LDSB recognizes that children and adolescents are among those at greatest risk for concussions during activities where collisions can occur, such as school based sports, physical education classes, or playground time,” explains Scot Gillam, Associate Superintendent of Safe and Caring Schools. 

“The school board is committed to taking steps to reduce the risk of injury,” adds Gillam. “This year, in partnership with KFL&A Public Health, Limestone will focus on heightening concussion awareness and prevention amongst our families and the larger community.”

Now, with Rowan’s Law enacted, it will further help community sports associations, coaches, parents/guardians, and school staff know when a child has suffered a suspected concussion, let the child know that they should immediately stop participating in physical activities, and be able to help the child identify when it’s safe to play again.

“Involvement in sport contributes to the physical and mental well-being of young adults,” states Gillam. “We know that education of student-athletes is key towards improving concussion prevention, and injury recovery.”  LDSB, in close partnership with KFL&A Public Health and the Ontario Physical & Health Education Association, continue to provide schools and families with information around concussion protocols on prevention and identification.

Physical education and health specialists from across the province have created a toolkit for schools to recognize Rowan’s Law Day and to spark conversation among students, staff, and the greater school community about concussion awareness. 

Families can access the following resources on concussion awareness:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/rowans-law-concussion-safety

http://www.parachutecanada.org/injury-topics/item/concussion-resources-for-schools

About Rowan:
Rowan Stringer loved rugby. A competitive and keen athlete, she was captain of her high school’s team. Tragically, in May 2013, 17-year old Rowan died as the result of head injuries she sustained while playing rugby. In the week before her last game, Rowan was hit twice while playing, likely sustaining a concussion after each blow. Her concussions went unreported, and she continued to play. Rowan suspected something wasn’t right—she texted a friend about her condition and used Google to search for information about concussions. When she was hit again in her final game, Rowan suffered what is known as Second Impact Syndrome—catastrophic swelling caused by a second injury to a brain still healing from previous trauma. Rowan collapsed on the field on May 8, 2013, and died four days later.

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.