We are learning more about concussions, both through increased media attention and through education initiatives. We are also becoming more aware of the potential for concussion in any type of activity and the importance of concussion prevention, recognition, and management. It is important that all education and sport stakeholders are educated about what concussion is, what to do if concussion is suspected, and what they can do to aid with the recovery process.
At some point in their career, educators will likely face a situation where a student is affected by a concussion. A significant number of children and youth are injured during participating in sport and other physical activities as a result of collisions, falls, and schoolyard accidents. Concussion can occur any time someone is moving during any type of activity, they are not only exclusive to a physical activity environment. Returning to normal activities after a concussion, including learning, playing , and sport participation, is a step-by-step process that requires patience, attention, and caution. the student, the student's family, and school staff can work collaboratively so the student can gradually return to full learning and physical activities.
The following information on concussion is derived from the most current scientific evidence related to concussions as identified by Parachute. Parachute is a national charity dedicated to injury prevention. The Canadian Concussion Harmonization Project is a concept supported by Public Health Agency of Canada. This project ensures that best-practice evidence based tools and resources are consistent across Canada. That alignment ensures that schools, coaches, parents, officials, athletes, and health professionals are provided with information that is consistent. Parachute is leading the harmonization of concussion guidelines and protocols across Canada.
Schools and/or schools divisions who already have concussion policies and/or guidelines in place may wish to consider reviewing the following content and update existing policies and/or guidelines to reflect current scientific evidence and protocols.
School Division Concussion Protocol Template
The School Division Concussion Protocol is intended to help guide the identification and management of students who sustain a suspected concussion as a result of participation in school and school division sport, play, and other activities. The protocol outlines strategies for helping students to make a gradual return to learning and playing after a concussion has occurred.
To use the School Division Concussion Protocol (Template), insert the name of your school division where indicated.
This template has been adapted from the Canadian Harmonized Sport Concussion Protocol Template developed by Parachute Canada. The template aligns with the Canadian Guidelines on Concussion in Sport (Parachute Canada). A Sample School Board Concussion Policy Template is also available on the Parachute Canada website. Finally, a Sample Internal Email to Staff Diagnosed with Concussion, as well as a Sample Concussion Awareness Checklist are also available on the Parachute Canada website.
Concussion Tools and Resources
The various documents and tools referred to in the School Division Concussion Protocol can be downloaded from the Parachute Canada website:
- Canadian Guidelines on Concussion in Sport
- Sample School Board Concussion Policy Template
- Pre-season Concussion Education Sheet*
- Concussion Recognition Tool 5 (CRT5)
- Sport Concussion Assessment Tool - 5th Edition (SCAT5)
- Child Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 5 (Child SCAT5)
- Medical Assessment Letter
- Medical Clearance Letter
- Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport (McCrory, P., et al, British Journal of Sports Medicine)
Parachute's Concussion Protocol Resources for Schools help educators develop and implement concussion protocols. These resources can be found on the Parachute Concussion Protocol Resources for Schools website.
- Athletic Directors, Coaches, Teachers, and Other Supervisors
- Other School Staff/Volunteers
- Collaborative Team School Staff Lead
- Parents and Caregivers
Return to Learn and Return to Play
The Return to Learn and Return to Play Strategy helps students to safely return to academics, sport and physical activity. The goal of working through the stages is to increase cognitive and physical activity without exacerbating symptoms. Students should be able to return to school before they return to playing sport or physical activity.
- Strategy for Return to School After a Concussion
- After a Concussion: Return-to-Sport Strategy
- Dr. Mike Evans - Concussion Management and Return to Learn (Video)
E-Learning Courses/Modules for school stakeholders can be found at the following sites:
- National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) - Making Headway: Concussion e-Learning Series
- Concussion Awareness Training Tool (CATT) School Professional Course