Concussion Laws in Canada that Protect Youth Sports

Millars law has had many wins where we have successfully sued sports leagues for the failure of coaches to protect their players from head injuries. As former athletes, we are passionate about players rights and protecting our youth. Rowan’s law was created in response to an accident that could have been avoided. It is important to know about these laws as they are enacted in hopes that the outcome will not happen again.

Rowan’s Law is a set of rules and regulations that are designed to protect athletes against concussions. The law was passed unanimously on June 7th, 2016 by the Ontario legislature, and continues to govern all youth concussions in sports.

The law is named after Rowan Stringer, a Canadian who died at 17 years old. Rowan died on Mother’s Day after she had sustained a second fatal concussion during a rugby game in Ottawa. Rowan had endured her first concussion within the seven days prior to the fatal hit. The coroner’s inquest determined that Rowan passed away from second impact syndrome.

Sustaining a second concussion while the brain is recovering from the first impact can result in a decrease of blood flow and depletion of energy levels. This causes the brain to swell, which can result in death. Death can occur within any situation where a person sustains two impacts to the head within a short period of time, the amount of time varies on the size, age, and weight of the person.

The coroner’s report is what sparked the interest in the Rowan Stringer case. As the report provided a great deal of awareness and insight into the dangers of concussions. Prior to Rowan’s Law, youth sports organizations lacked the proper protocol for dealing with injuries.

This law is ultimately designed to keep children safe.

The case resulted in a Canadian jury providing 49 recommendations for youth sports in the result of hearing the coroner’s inquest on Rowan’s death. Rowan’s law requires appropriate management of suspected concussions.

Some of the 49 recommendations within the law included:
– Trainers and coaches have the proper tools to identify a concussion
– Trainers and coaches have the proper contacts to get their player diagnosed
– Have an increased awareness of educational opportunities
– Have proper concussion policies in order for all sports organizations and school boards in Ontario

The law also resulted in an expert advisory committee which works to develop a plan to introduce the coroners remaining recommendations into legal policy.

However, we are not there yet.  Canada currently has a confusing web of rules and policies that have been adopted from different governing levels. This causes local, provincial and national bodies to all adopt different rules.

If you or someone you know has suffered a head injury call us: 

519- 657-1LAW or

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