Ministerial Statement - Brain Injury Awareness Month – June 2018
June is Brain Injury Awareness Month, an opportunity to bring attention to the effects of brain injuries in Canada and to prevention measures that you can take. Brain injuries can happen suddenly, without warning, and can have serious consequences. They can be caused by trauma from falls and car accidents, or stem from other health issues, such as experiencing a stroke.
One serious form of brain injury is a concussion. Concussions, especially among young people, are a concerning public health issue because of their frequency and potential for serious short- and long-term consequences on brain health. 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 injury types.
Physical activity keeps kids and youth engaged, and helps them to build and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Preventing concussions by making sport, physical activity and recreation safer for children and for athletes is one of my commitments to making Canadians healthier and safer overall.
The Government of Canada is currently supporting Parachute Canada in the development of return-to-school and return-to-sport concussion protocols, based on the Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport. These protocols will guide athletes, parents, coaches, teachers, trainers and licensed healthcare professionals in supporting children and youth recovering from a concussion, helping them to return safely to school and play.
We are also developing tools and resources for Canadians on how to prevent, recognize and manage concussions. For example, the Progressive Activation and Concussion Education mobile app helps parents to recognize the signs of a concussion, manage their child’s care, and reduce the risk of further injury. We also provided funding to Parachute Canada to develop the Concussion Ed app to help youth, parents, coaches and educators learn how to prevent, recognize and care for concussions.
As we enter the summer months, I encourage you to get outside and play safe! Safe Kids Week, which takes place from June 4–10, is a national awareness campaign bringing attention to predictable and preventable injuries that can occur when children play. Led by Parachute Canada, the campaign this year will focus on concussions on the road, at home, and at play. Visit Parachute’s website for more information.
For more tips on staying safe and preventing injury, visit the Government of Canada's injury prevention page.
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health
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