Ontario Protecting Athletes Through Concussion Safety

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Ontario Protecting Athletes Through Concussion Safety

Hit. Stop. Sit. Video Kicks Off Rowan’s Law Awareness Campaign

Toronto — Ontario is making sport safer for competitive amateur athletes, children and youth and raising awareness about concussion safety.  

Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, joined by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, and Eric Lindros, Hockey Hall of Famer and concussion advocate, officially launched the Rowan's Law awareness campaign with a concussion safety video that has been playing in cinemas across Ontario. The province-wide campaign puts concussion safety information in front of Ontarians who need it most.

"With the spirit and story of Rowan Stringer's preventable passing, the Ontario government is protecting amateur athletes by raising awareness about concussion safety," said Minister Tibollo. "Reducing the risk of concussions is always the goal. But concussions happen. Knowing what to do if a concussion happens — whether you're an athlete, a student, a parent, a coach, an official or an educator — saves lives."

Through video, print, and social media, the Rowan's Law awareness campaign will change the conversation about how concussions are handled. The goal is to encourage coaches, parents and players to stop celebrating the "warriors" who jump back in the game too soon after a concussion — and instead recognize the serious brain injuries that concussions represent and the time required to treat them. 

"Having experienced firsthand the effects of concussion, I am so proud to lend my voice to raising awareness about concussion safety," said Lindros. "Rowan's Law is using the slogan Hit.Stop.Sit. for this campaign to encourage kids to stop and sit it out when they get hit in a game. No one should play through a potential concussion."

Minister MacLeod sponsored Rowan's Law (Concussion Safety) in the Legislative Assembly, where it passed with unanimous support in March 2018. 

Concussions can have serious consequences — from brain trauma to fatalities. We learned this with Rowan Stringer's death," said MacLeod. "I'm proud of Ontario's leadership in ushering in Canada's first concussion legislation and continue my call for other provinces and territories to do the same. It could save lives."

Quick Facts

  • Rowan’s Law was named after Rowan Stringer, a 17-year-old Ottawa rugby player, who died in spring 2013 from a condition known as second impact syndrome (catastrophic swelling of the brain).
  • Starting July 1, 2019, athletes, parents, coaches and officials will be required to review the concussion awareness resources and their sport organization’s concussion code of conduct.
  • The highest rates of concussion in Ontario are found among children and youth under the age of 18.
  • Concussions represent more than one in five Ontario student injuries treated by a doctor or nurse.
  • Ontario students who report a head injury are more than twice as likely to report very high emotional distress and less success in academics.

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