Putting Safety First: Ophea’s Reaction to the Education Amendment Act (Concussions), 2012
Ophea fully supports the Ontario government in their commitment to increase awareness of head injuries and concussions in the school environment, and to require school boards to have policies in place to address these incidents as they occur.
The Education Amendment Act (Concussions) further supports the government’s ongoing commitment healthy active living. “Ensuring that children and youth have safe and healthy spaces in which to live, learn and play is crucial to enabling lifelong physical activity,” states Chris Markham, Ophea’s Executive Director and CEO. “Addressing concussions and head injuries is a critical component of creating and maintaining a healthy environment.” Ophea looks forward to working with the Government of Ontario to continue to support a holistic approach to safety and injury prevention and to build upon existing resources such as Ophea’s Ontario Safety Guidelines which are currently being utilized in the majority of school boards across the province. The Ontario Safety Guidelines represent the minimum standards for risk management practice for school boards and have been developed in partnership with provincial sport organizations and other partners including the Ontario School Boards’ Insurance Exchange (OSBIE), the Ontario Association for the Supervision of Physical and Health Education (OASPHE), the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA), and the Canadian Intramural Recreation Association – Ontario (CIRA). All concussion, return to physical activity and prevention practices in the Ontario Safety Guidelines were recently reviewed and updated based on the advice of Dr. Charles Tator, a concussion and brain injury expert. “The Ontario Safety Guidelines provide a foundation from which schools boards can build upon as they work to implement this new legislation,” says Dr. James Mandigo, Ophea’s President. “They address prevention and management through return to physical activity steps and forms and other information that educators and coaches need to know. There are also specific Guidelines for various sports and activities related to concussion prevention via equipment, special rules, instructions and supervision.” To learn more about concussion protocols for teachers and coaches as addressed in the Ontario Safety Guidelines, click here