Student Journalism - Rowan's Law Day

Student Journalism - Rowan's Law Day
Posted on 10/04/2019
Students Playing Hockey

Students Playing Hockey

Written by Elora Cavner as part of the Student Journalism Program at St. Thomas Aquinas High School.

Anyone who watches high school sports would usually agree that a collision or fight can really spice up a game, but what is this doing to our kids' brains? For 17-year-old Rowan Stringer, three in a row proved fatal in the spring of 2013.

Now the last Wednesday of each September is Rowan's Law day, a day designated to raise awareness about concussion prevention and safety. Rowan's Law details how concussions must be handled in sports.

Grade 10 St. Thomas Aquinas student Paige Bechard, who had a concussion in 2014 and currently plays hockey feels safer knowing there is a plan in place if she gets hurt.

"I think it's good to have a law like that because it'll keep kids safe and help them from having further injuries with their brain," she said.

Rowan's Law requires anyone under 26 who participates in a sport to review Ontario's Concussion Awareness Resources every year. So, what is a concussion and what does it do to a brain? Brain Injury Services of Northern Ontario (BISNO) Rehabilitation Facilitator and former Paramedic Matt Cavner explains.

"A concussion occurs when the brain impacts the side of the skull. This causes the brain, which has the consistency of gelatin, to violently slide back and forth within the skull," he said.

Common symptoms of a concussion are headaches, dizziness, memory loss, nausea, changes in mood and sleep, and confusion.

The safety of an athlete is important to any coach, including Mark Richards who coaches the girls' hockey team at St. Thomas Aquinas High School.

"We always, as coaches, try to check in with them and make sure that we're looking out for the best interests of the athlete. We always try and make sure that all the safety precautions are in place; mouth guards and helmets."

As for what athletes can do to help prevent further difficulties from a concussion Cavner says it's simple.

"Always report any head injury, no matter how insignificant it may seem, or how embarrassing it may feel. It is better to report it and get medical attention than to not report an injury that could be fatal."

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2020 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.