Rowan’s Law: Concussion Safety
Learn how to prevent, identify and manage concussions.
Concussions can occur while participating in any sport or recreational activity. Since the circumstances under which a concussion can be sustained are so varied, it’s important for all coaches, parents, and athletes to be aware of the signs, symptoms, and what to do if a concussion occurs.
Call 911 if the person is unconscious, has lost consciousness or had a seizure.
If they are conscious:
- visit an emergency room or primary care provider, such as your family doctor or nurse practitioner
- contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 to get health advice or information
Look out for signs of a concussion in others. Symptoms may appear immediately or be felt days after an injury, especially in children and the elderly. If symptoms appear or persist, visit a physician or nurse practitioner.
A concussion is a brain injury. It can’t be seen on X-rays, CT scans or MRIs. It may affect the way a person thinks, feels and acts.
Any blow to the head, face or neck may cause a concussion. A concussion may also be caused by a blow to the body if the force of the blow causes the brain to move around inside the skull. A concussion can happen to anyone – anywhere – including:
- at home, school or your workplace
- following a car, bike or pedestrian accident
- from participating in games, sports or other physical activity
A concussion is a serious injury. While the effects are typically short-term, a concussion can lead to long-lasting symptoms and even long-term effects.
There are many signs and symptoms of a concussion to look out for, including:
- ringing in the ears
- memory loss
- light sensitivity
If you notice signs of a concussion in others, or experience any of these symptoms yourself, consult with a physician or nurse practitioner.
Know the risks
You can get a concussion even if you don’t black out or lose consciousness.
Slips and fall can also increase concussion risk, especially in:
- young children
- senior citizens
Take your time to heal
It is important to take time and heal if you have a concussion.
In some cases, concussions or repeat concussions can result in:
- swelling of the brain
- permanent brain damage
These concussion awareness resources have been developed as part of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s “Active & Safe” initiative and are designed to help you gain the knowledge and skills required to ensure the safety of your athletes. Get concussion smart via our award-winning “Making Head Way” eLearning modules, test your concussion IQ, find out what happens during a concussion, or simply browse through real concussion stories.
For full Concussion Awareness Resources, please visit Coaches Association of Canada at: http://www.coach.ca/concussion-awareness-s16361 or visit the Government of Ontario website at: ontario.ca/concussions
This page is not intended to provide medical advice. For emergencies, please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital or emergency department. For advice on health care for concussion symptoms, please consult with a physician or nurse practitioner.