Ontario Taking Action to Reduce Concussions in Youth Sport
Province Establishing Committee Focused on Safety of Young Athletes
Ontario is taking action to reduce concussions experienced by children and youth in organized sports and in school settings, by establishing the Rowan's Law Advisory Committee.
The committee is named after Rowan Stringer, a 17-year-old who passed away after sustaining a head injury while playing rugby, and will support the government's action on detection, prevention and treatment of head injuries. It is chaired by Dr. Dan Cass, Vice President, Medical at St. Joseph's Health Centre in Toronto and comprised of parents, medical experts, researchers and sport leaders.
As part of its work, the committee will focus on how parents, coaches, officials and the medical community can work together to increase safe participation in sport. It will also review the jury recommendations made in the inquest of the death of Rowan Stringer and best practices from other jurisdictions, and advise on pragmatic, effective ways to implement the jury's recommendations.
The committee will submit its recommendations to the government by September 2017.
- Ontario became the first jurisdiction in Canada to address concussions through legislation when it passed the Rowan’s Law Advisory Committee Act, 2016 (Bill 149) on June 9, 2016. The legislation acts on recommendations made by the Coroner’s Jury following an inquest into the death of Rowan Stringer.
- In May 2013, Ontario created a web portal, providing information about the prevention, identification and treatment of concussions for parents, educators, athletes, coaches and health care providers.
“The work of the Rowan’s Law Advisory Committee is important in advancing the critical effort to keep young people safe as they participate in organized sport and recreation in Ontario. Ultimately, the outcome of the committee’s work can help raise awareness of the impacts of concussions so we can help prevent them from occurring and better detect and treat concussion-related injuries.”
“An active, healthy lifestyle is important for youth, but their well-being and safety is imperative. The advisory committee members are committed to capitalizing on this significant opportunity to enhance safe participation in sport.”
Dr. Dan Cass