17 Oct New Curriculum Teaches Ontario Students about Concussions
Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers welcome the positive changes currently happening in the culture of Canadian youth sports. Players, coaches, parents and educators are being taught how to recognize and properly treat concussions that could otherwise lead to traumatic brain injury.
One Ontario school district has even developed a new curriculum to teach students specifically about concussions.
The Ontario provincial government mandates that school districts have concussion policies, and the Halton District School Board has responded to that mandate with the Halton Student Concussion Education Project. The district-wide initiative is thought to be the first of its kind in Canada and the United States.
In September, more than 4,000 ninth graders in the district began the course, which will continue through the academic year. Modified versions of the course are also being taught to third and sixth graders.
Through the use of online modules, students are taught to recognize concussion symptoms and how to care for a person believed to have suffered a concussion. Students also have access to video reports on traumatic brain injury.
The developers of the curriculum intend not only to provide important information to students; the goal is also to make cultural changes. Joanne Walsh, a health and physical education coordinator who helped develop the program, had this to say: “If we’re going to change the culture around concussion like we changed the culture around smoking and around drinking and driving, we need to get at our next generation of kids.”
While the Halton curriculum emphasizes that traumatic brain injury can happen in a context outside of sports, it was noted that students who participated in a pilot program last year were most engaged in the curriculum as it related to athletics.
Indeed, sometimes the culture of toughness in sports can pressure athletes to continue playing despite their having suffered a concussion. The Halton district program is meant to address this concern and help young athletes make smart decisions regarding their own health and the health of their friends and teammates.
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The New York Times, “Canadian District Goes to School on Concussions,” Jeff Z. Klein, Oct. 4, 2014