Concussion in Sport

Sport and Recreation-related Traumatic Brain Injuries among Canadian Children and Youth

Concussions are a common type of injury. Unintentional injuries are a leading cause of death, hospitalization, and disability among Canadians… and of these, concussions are among the most common.

Concussion Treatment: Rest for 24-48 hours, followed by a gradual, medically supervised return to activity.

Many youth experience concussions during sports and recreation activities, sometimes with tragic outcomes.

Approximately 46,000 diagnosed concussions in 2016-17 by hospital emergency departments for children and youth 5-19 years of age.*

*National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS)

Males: approximately 26,000 from sports and recreation (54%), assaults/self-harm, and other unintentional causes.

Females: approximately 20,000 from sports and recreation (45%), assaults/self-harm, and other unintentional causes.

Ice hockey, rugby and ringette are the sports with the highest proportion of brain injuries among children and youth 5-19 years of age, ranging from 27% to 44% of all injuries that happened while playing these sports**.

** Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP)

What do Canadians know about concussions?

  • 1 in 2 Canadians have little or no knowledge about concussion
  • 1 in 4 do not know how concussion is treated
  • Only 15% can correctly identify the best ways to treat concussion
  • Only 4 in 10 are aware of available concussion tools or resources

There is an ongoing need to integrate any new knowledge on concussion prevention and treatment among allied health professionals, coaches, athletes, parents, and education providers:

  • Knowledge or training in diagnosis of concussion
  • Awareness or compliance among coaches, athletes and parents
  • Education and training among providers

Government of Canada Supporting Tools and Information Sharing

The Government of Canada has developed evidence-based information and practical tools for athletes, coaches, teachers, parents, school and sports administrators and health professionals:

  • Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport
  • A Return to School Strategy
  • A Return to Sport Strategy
  • Canadian Harmonized Concussion Protocols
  • A SchoolFirst resource for teachers and school boards to support children and youth after experiencing a concussion
  • Mobile App to guide parents in the management of their child’s concussion

Visit to access concussion tools and information.


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Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada

Type: Poster

Date published: 2018-06

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