In March 2018, the Ontario government passed Rowan's Law to protect athletes and raise awareness and knowledge of head injuries. Rowan's Law day will be held on the last Wednesday of every September. We have to remind our kids that it is important they let us know if they have sustained any type of head injury. Check out this great ad from the Ontario government to remind kids to watch for symptoms.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a brain injury that is caused by a hit to the head, face, neck or body that can cause a sudden jarring of the head. There are a few signs that you should watch for if your child should fall in the playground and bang their head or have a blow to the head at any of their sports events. Here are the symptoms you should watch for:
- Problems with vision
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Problems with balance
- Loss of consciousness
- Slowed reaction times
- Memory Loss
If your child presents with any of these symptoms, it is important that you get them to a doctor to have them checked out. If they are caused during a game, do not allow the child to go back out as they can cause more serious symptoms.
In May 2013, 17 year old Rowan Stringer died as a result of head injuries she sustained in a game of rugby. On Friday May 3, 2013, Rowan was playing in a high school rugby tournament and in the last game of the day, she was tackled and removed from that game complaining of a headache. She had a game after school the following Monday (May 6) and was feeling great and ready to play. During that game someone stepped on her head and the headache returned; however, she did not tell anyone of this return in symptoms. On Wednesday (May 8), she had yet another game, which would be her last. She was tackled to the field, which resulted in a loss of consciousness that she never recovered. Doctors tried to relieve the swelling in her brain but were unable to do so.
If your child plays on a sports team, it is a good idea to get a Concussion Baseline Test for them. It helps determine what is considered "normal". If they sustain an injury, you will have something for the doctor's to compare their results to. Check with your local physiotherapist to see if they do this testing or check out Complete Concussion Management for more info. Coaches and Trainers are now required to review any one of the official concussion awareness resources before registering or serving with their sport organization, review the sport organization’s Code of Conduct that they will provide and confirm that they have reviewed both of these resources every year with their sport organization.