SMAA “Rowan’s Law” Concussion Policy
WHAT IS ROWAN’s LAW?
Rowan’s Law was named for Rowan Stringer, a high school rugby player from Ottawa, who died in the spring of 2013 from a condition known as second impact syndrome (swelling of the brain caused by a subsequent injury that occurred before a previous injury healed). Rowan is believed to have experienced three concussions over six days while playing rugby. She had a concussion but didn’t know her brain needed time to heal. Neither did her parents, teachers, or coaches.
In 2018, Rowan’s Law was passed. The Ontario Government has directed sports organizations, schools and health care to focus on the importance of concussion awareness. management and taking a personal pledge to follow specific requirements following a suspected or confirmed concussion.
WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?
A concussion is a brain injury. It can’t be seen on X-rays, CT scans or MRIs. It may affect the way a person thinks, feels and acts.
Any blow to the head, face or neck may cause a concussion. A concussion may also be caused by a blow to the body if the force of the blow causes the brain to move around inside the skull. A concussion can happen to anyone – anywhere – including:
- at home, school or your workplace
- following a car, bike or pedestrian accident
- from participating in games, sports or other physical activity
A concussion is a serious injury. While the effects are typically short-term, a concussion can lead to long-lasting symptoms and even long-term effects.
There are many signs and symptoms of a concussion to look out for, including:
- ringing in the ears
- memory loss
- light sensitivity
If you notice signs of a concussion in others or experience any of these symptoms yourself, consult with a physician or nurse practitioner.
In accordance with Rowan’s Law, the Sarnia Minor Athletic Association (SMAA) is required to provide information regarding the Concussion Awareness Resources located at www.Ontario.ca/concussions with a participant and parent/guardian before they can participate in a SMAA sport.
The SMAA’s CODE OF CONDUCT
I will help prevent concussions through my commitment to:
I will care for my and others’ health and safety by taking concussions seriously, and I understand that:
I will commit to:
The Government of Canada offers a Concussion Awareness e-booklet and these e-booklets will help you learn more about concussions so you can keep yourself and others active and safe, whether you’re an athlete, student, parent, coach, official, or educator.
These resources can be found at the following URL:
You can download and print the appropriate age group(s) for reference.
Designated Person / Removal from Sport / Return to Sport
The Rowan’s Law Removal-from/Return-to-sport requirements came into effect on January 1, 2022. All sporting organizations and schools will be required to have a removal-from/return-to-sport protocol.