Last week, Mike Holroyd commented on the challenges involved when getting a student back into the classroom after suffering a concussion. His post encourages teachers and school professionals to be involved in the student’s recovery.
A bill was introduced last week in Ontario that would require school boards to institute a brain-injury prevention and management policy. Concussion training would be mandated for school staff and parents. New standards of care would be set to more effectively monitor a student’s recovery.
So far, BC is the only other province considering a concussion-related law. Last November, BC proposed the Concussions in Youth Sport Safety Act. The Act would enforce the following concussion protocol in youth sports organizations:
- Organizations must inform and educate coaches, youth athletes, and their parents of the nature and risk of concussion and head injuries.
- Each year, a concussion and head injury information sheet must be signed and returned by a youth athlete and their parents prior to practice or competition.
- A youth athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury must be removed from competition immediately.
- An injured athlete must not return to play until they have received clearance to return to play by a health care professional.
The Concussions in Youth Sport Safety Act is a step in the right direction. But Ontario’s proposed legislation is important because it’s the first to make schools legally responsible for concussion prevention and care.
The impact of a concussion is felt as much in the classroom as on the playing field. As Ontario’s Minister of Education Laurel Broten points out, a “return-to-learn” plan is as important as a “return-to-play”plan.
For More Information:
- Concussions in Youth Sport Safety Act, Bill M 206 2011
- Ontario seeks to put head injury issues on schools’ agenda, The Globe and Mail
- Youth concussion law proposed in BC, CBC News