Ottawa Inquest Jury Urged to Adopt Concussion Recommendations for Youth Sports

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"Prevention is really the only cure." -- Those are the words of an Ontario father whose teenage daughter died in 2013 after hitting her head in a rugby match. The cause of death: second impact syndrome.

Now the girl's parents are urging an Ottawa inquest jury to adopt more than 50 recommendations to help protect student athletes from brain injury.

"Rowan's Law," which is named after the 17-year-old rugby player who died, would address a variety of issues related to concussion and brain injury, including return-to-play strategies, communication between school and non-school teams, tracking concussions among students, and mandatory concussion education in elementary and high schools.

The recommendations also include the creation of a standardized binder with concussion information for coaches; adoption of safety-oriented team philosophy and codes of conduct; mandatory check-in sessions before practice and games; and pre-season concussion learning sessions for students and parents.

"It's about safety and about the brain you've only got one of," said Rowan's mother, referring to the list of recommendations.

The jury were expected to decide on whether to adopt the recommendations on June 3.

As we discussed in a previous post, the Ontario Ministry of Education has already instructed all 72 school boards in the province to establish and implement concussion-related procedure in every school.

It is hoped that implementation of a Rowan's Law would take those efforts further. Our readers in Ontario may want to follow up to see which recommendations the jury adopts.



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