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District School Board of Niagara
Policy School Operations

G-36 Concussions

Date Jun 2014
Review Jun 2019

The District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) is committed to promoting awareness of safety in schools and recognizes that the health and safety of students are essential preconditions for effective learning. All partners in education, including the Ministry of Education, other Ontario ministries, school boards, administrators, educators, school staff, students, parents, school volunteers, and community-based organizations, have important roles to play in promoting student health and safety and in fostering and maintaining healthy and safe environments in which students can learn.

A concussion is defined as:

  • a brain injury that causes changes in the way in which the brain functions and that can lead to symptoms that can be physical (e.g., headache, dizziness), cognitive (e.g., difficulty in concentrating or remembering), emotional/behavioural (e.g., depression, irritability), and/or related to sleep (e.g., drowsiness, difficulty in falling asleep);
  • may be caused either by a direct blow to the head, face, or neck or by a blow to the body that transmits a force to the head that causes the brain to move rapidly within the skull; can occur even if there has been no loss of consciousness (in fact most concussions occur without a loss of consciousness);
  • cannot normally be seen by means of medical imaging tests, such as X-rays, standard computed tomography (CT) scans, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

A concussion can have a significant impact on a student – cognitively, physically, emotionally, and socially. It is very important to students’ long-term health and academic success that individuals in schools have information on appropriate strategies to minimize risk of concussion, steps to follow if they suspect that a student may have a concussion, and effective management procedures to guide students’ return to learning and physical activity after a diagnosed concussion. In accordance with Policy Program Memorandum (PPM) 158 (School Board Policies on Concussion), DSBN will develop and implement concussion management strategies. These strategies must include: awareness initiatives, prevention strategies, identification of concussion process, diagnosed concussion management and training.