The District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) is committed to helping all students succeed and lead safe, healthy, and active lives. As part of our commitment to student safety, injury prevention, and well-being, DSBN supports concussion awareness, prevention, identification, management, tracking, and training in DSBN schools.
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 school which includes return to learning and return to physical activity after a diagnosed concussion.
In accordance with Policy Program Memorandum (PPM) 158 - School Board Policies on Concussion (Revised September 25, 2019), and Education Act amendments, DSBN has developed and implemented concussion management strategies. These strategies include:
- Receipt of confirmation of annual review of approved Concussion Awareness Resources by individuals participating in DSBN-sponsored interschool sports;
- The establishment of Concussion Codes of Conduct for individuals participating in DSBN-sponsored interschool sports, and the receipt of confirmation of annual review of the relevant Code of Conduct by those individuals;
- Annual concussion training for relevant school staff;
- The establishment of a process for the removal of students with a suspected concussionfrom physical activity and, for those diagnosed with a concussion, a Return to School Plan, which includes their return to learning and return to physical activity;
- The establishment of a process to document and track a student’s progress, from removal from an activity due to a suspected concussion, to the return, through graduated steps, to learning and to physical activity.