On Wednesday, September 7, at 7 pm, a public meeting will be held in the cafeteria of Smiths Falls District High School to announce the launch of a Concussion Baseline Testing Protocol. This project will see all Smiths Falls high school students provide data which will establish baseline information which can be used later when a concussion is suspected.
The Rowan’s Law Advisory Committee Act, called “Rowan’s Law,” after Rowan Stringer, an Ottawa teen who passed away in 2013 after suffering multiple concussions. A coroner’s inquest into the death resulted in 49 recommendations around head injury awareness and prevention, as well as removal-from-play and return-to-play strategies for young athletes, coaches and mentors.
The coroner’s recommendations include: making concussion awareness mandatory in Ontario’s curriculum, the promotion of an annual Brain Day awareness campaign, and better tools for coaches and players to identify and treat concussions. We hope that this baseline testing serves as one of those tools.
The testing will be conducted under the supervision of Shannon Morrison, owner and physiotherapist at Skyward Active Health Center, Dr. Jessica Butler from the Carleton Sports Medicine Clinic and Jacob Swarbrick, head Rugby coach at SFDCI. In addition to these guest speakers, Gordon and Kathleen Stringer, parents of Rowan will tell of their efforts to improve the safety and health of students in Ontario schools. Superintendent David Coombs will detail the policies put in place by the Upper Canada District School board.
The participants in the program believe that with better information at the outset, teachers, parents and coaches can be more effective in determining safe return to play and return to learn timelines. The meeting is open to any interested members of the public.