Ottawa, Sept 26, (Canadian-Media): In observance of first Ontario's Rowan's Concussion Law Day today, Ontario is commitment to making sports safer for kids by developing a multimedia campaign that will raise awareness about concussion safety, media reports said.
Rowan's Law Day is commemorated, in honour of the memory of 17-year-old Rowan Stringer, who died after sustaining multiple concussions while playing rugby with her Ottawa high school.
Since then, her family had advocated for change.
Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community, and Social Services, sponsored Rowan's Concussion Law in the Legislative Assembly.
On March 7, 2018, Ontario passed Rowan's Law (Concussion Safety), 2018 and related amendments to the Education Act.
This new legislation, which received all-party support, is intended to protect amateur athletes by improving concussion safety on the field and at school.
This day is observed on the last Wednesday in September to raise awareness about concussions in sport.
"I am pleased that our new government is carrying on with the work that was started in 2015," said MacLeod.
"Rowan was a very positive kid. She wanted to help the kids and her plan was to be a pediatric nurse," her father said Wednesday. "We look at this as helping her deliver on what she would've done in her life, making a difference in people's lives."
Concussions represented 21 percent of student injuries treated by a doctor or nurse, said Sylvia Jones, Ontario's minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport and added that this awareness campaign would help students understand what to do when they suspect they've sustained a concussion, and gives educators and coaches the tools they need to seek help for their students.
"We're not talking about discouraging people from playing rugby or from playing on the ice," she said. "What we want to do is make sure that they understand what a concussion looks like."
Rowan's Law created new rules aimed at protecting injured students from further injury, and introduced new protocols that aim to prevent concussions in the first place.
But the work isn't done yet — the regulations that accompany the bill still have to be written, and a system to track concussion data has yet to be established.
Stringer said there have been many tough days after losing Rowan, but he hopes the outcome will help save lives.
"Her death was completely preventable," he said. "That drives you to make sure that you do everything you can so that it doesn't happen again."
"Reducing the risk of concussions is always the goal. But concussions happen and knowing what to do - whether you're an athlete, a parent, a coach or a teacher - can save lives," said Sylvia. "We'll honour Rowan Stringer's memory by launching a province-wide multimedia campaign to raise awareness about concussion safety."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)