On Wednesday, September 29, 2021, the Lakehead District School Board will be marking Rowan’s Law Day to raise awareness about concussions.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head, face, neck, or body that can cause a sudden jarring of the head. Even what seems to be a mild bump to the head can be serious.
Research indicates that a concussion can affect a student’s school performance in both cognitive activities (school work) and physical activities (physical education program/interschool activities). Research also indicates that engaging in cognitive and/or physical activities, while a child has a suspected and/or diagnosed concussion, can worsen concussion symptoms and delay the student’s recovery.
The health and safety of our students is our priority, and on September 29th, we hope to increase awareness about the dangers of concussions. Together, we can help our students prevent, recognize and respond to concussions.
What is Rowan’s Law?
Rowan’s Law, recently passed by the Ontario Government, is designed to protect amateur athletes and educate coaches on the dangers of head injuries. It is the first concussion law of its kind in Canada. Rowan’s Law Day was established in 2018, and will be observed across Ontario on the last Wednesday in September each year. The purpose of Rowan’s Law Day is to increase concussion education awareness, especially in schools.
Who was Rowan Stringer?
Rowan Stringer loved rugby. A competitive and keen athlete, she was captain of her high school’s team. Tragically, in May 2013, 17-year old Rowan died as the result of head injuries she sustained while playing. In the week before her last game, Rowan was hit twice while playing, likely sustaining a concussion after each blow. Her concussions went unrecognized, and she continued to play, perhaps feeling the pressure to play and with the hope of leading her team to victory. When she was hit again in her final game, Rowan suffered what is known as Second Impact Syndrome—catastrophic swelling caused by a second injury to a brain still healing from previous trauma. Rowan collapsed on the field on May 8, 2013 and died four days later.
For more information on our concussion protocol, please refer to Lakehead Public Schools Policies and Procedures