Rowans Law Passes Third And Final Reading At Queen's Park

Ontario has passed concussion safety legislation designed to protect amateur athletes.

The legislation is named after Rowan Stringer, a 17-year-old Ottawa girl who died after after being injured while playing rugby.

The bill establishes mandatory requirements for removing a player from a game and being able to return to a game,  if an athlete is suspected of having sustained a concussion.

Dr. Christopher Abeare is part of the University of Windsor's Sports Related Concussion Centre — he says young athletes are at higher risk of having long term consequences from repeated concussions.

"The jury is still out on the whole issue of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or the dementia that may come from repeated head injuries, but certainly the younger you are, the worse it seems to be for the developing brain," says Abeare.

Dr. Abeare also says awareness is key, adding "I think just being mindful and talking to their children or their athletes and their family about concussions. There are some great resources online where you can watch videos that are educational about how to identify a concussion and what to do if you have one."

 A Coroner’s Inquest into Rowan’s death in 2015 delivered 49 recommendations, including requiring students and parents to take a mandatory concussion awareness and management session before playing high risk sports.

The Ontario Government says Rowan's Law makes Ontario a national leader in concussion management and prevention.


— with files from AM800's Patty Handysides