Government of Canada announces support for projects on concussion management and awareness
New mobile technology and best practices will equip parents and teachers to help children and youth post-concussion
November 3, 2017 Toronto, ON Public Health Agency of Canada
More than 64% of child and youth injuries treated in emergency departments are related to sports and recreation, with concussions being among the most common.
Today, on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, Rob Oliphant, Member of Parliament, announced funding towards two new concussion projects: the SCHOOLFirst project and PACE mobile app. These projects build on the Government of Canada's ongoing actions related to concussion awareness and prevention.
The SCHOOLFirst project, led by Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, will provide access to up-to-date information for teachers and school boards on concussion practices in the education sector across Canada. By engaging youth, parents, teachers and health experts, the project will support Canadian youth who are returning to school after experiencing a concussion.
To help parents recognize the signs of a concussion, assist their children in healing, and reduce the risk of further injury post-concussion, the Clinical Investigation and Teaching Institute of British Columbia (CITI BC) Research Society has developed a mobile app. The Progressive Activation and Concussion Education (PACE) app will help parents guide the management of their child's concussion. After a diagnosis by a doctor, the app identifies trigger symptoms and how to deal with them at home and in school. The app will be available for use on smartphones and tablets.
“Canadian parents and teachers need access to the tools and knowledge necessary to help prevent concussions and to carefully manage them when they do occur. The investments announced today build on ongoing federal efforts to support concussion prevention and treatment. We want to help make sport, physical activity and recreation safer for our children and athletes.”
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
“Ensuring that all our youth and athletes enjoy sport safely is important to the Government of Canada. That is why we are investing in initiatives such as the SCHOOLFirst project and PACE mobile app, which will help athletes, parents, teachers and coaches detect the signs and symptoms of concussion. I encourage all Canadians to take advantage of these resources to further educate themselves on how to prevent concussions, and how to help heal them through proper management, as set out in the return-to-learn and return-to-play protocols. This is a team effort for the benefit of all.”
The Honourable Kent Hehr
Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
"Today's announcement will directly impact children and youth who take part in sports and recreation activities. These projects show that tangible results are being achieved in line with the Government's commitment to raising awareness on concussion management and treatment."
Member of Parliament for Don Valley West
“While many resources and tools are available to advise teachers on ‘what' to do when supporting a youth's return to the classroom after a concussion, there are gaps around ‘how' to implement this information and best help the youth. SCHOOLFirst will provide teachers with the questions to ask, the conversations to start, and the tools to use in order to safely re-engage Canadian youth in school-based activities.”
Dr. Nick Reed
Co-Director of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital's Concussion Centre and Clinician Scientist
Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto
“Whether at home, school or in sport, we are more aware than ever that concussions have a huge impact on our children's health. A concussion doesn't only influence daily life, but can result in long-term problems if not treated properly. It can be quite scary if you don't know what to do, beyond the first visit to the doctor.”
Dr. David Rhine
Emergency Physician and Director of Sports Concussion Management
Kelowna General Hospital
The Public Health Agency of Canada has invested $125,000 in Holland Bloorview hospital's SCHOOLFirst project and $120,000 in CITI BC's PACE app.
The first Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport, funded by the Government of Canada, was released by Parachute on July 28, 2017. The Guideline uses current scientific evidence to help guide decisions on diagnosing, managing and treating concussions. Anyone who interacts with athletes – such as coaches, trainers, educators, parents and healthcare professionals – should refer to this Guideline and use the tools it provides.
Concussions in sport are a recognized public health problem because of their frequency and potential for short- and long-term consequences. These include cognitive, emotional and physical symptoms, and when left undetected, even death.
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada
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