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Concussion Safety

Football Ontario takes concussions very seriously as we aim to foster a positive and healthy environment for all athletes.  A concussion is a brain injury that cannot be seen on x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. It affects the way your child may think and remember things, and can cause a variety of symptoms.


Signs & Symptoms (Concussion Recognition):  

A child does not need to be knocked out to have a concussion.

Thinking Problems

  • Does not know time, date, place, period of game, score of opposing team, score of game
  • General confusion
  • Cannot remember things that happened before and after the injury
  • Knocked out

Athlete’s Complaints

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Feels dazed
  • Feels “dinged” or stunned; “having my bell rung”
  • Sees stars, flashing lights
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Sleepiness
  • Loss of vision
  • Sees double or blurry
  • Stomachache/stomach pain, nausea

Other Problems

  • Poor coordination or balance
  • Blank stare/glassy eyed
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Slow to answer questions or follow directions
  • Easily distracted
  • Poor concentration
  • Strange or inappropriate emotions (i.e. laughing, crying, getting mad easily)
  • Not playing as well

The cause of a Concussion is: any blow to the head, face or neck, or a blow to the body which causes a sudden jarring of the head may cause a concussion (i.e. a helmet to the head, being knocked to the ground).

Ways to Help Prevent Concussions:

  • NCCP Making Head Way in Sport Training
  • Wearing proper equipment that fits correctly
  • Respecting the Rules of the sport
  • Having open dialogue within the relationships of Coaches, Trainers and Athletes

We ask for Guardians, Athletes and Coaches to be prepared and have a thorough understanding of these guidelines:
Guidelines for Parents
Guidelines for Athletes
Guidelines for Coaches
Return to Play Guidelines :

Rowan’s Law: New rules requiring the review of Concussion Awareness Resources and Concussion Codes of Conduct came into effect on July 1, 2019.

Rowan’s Law requires all coaches and team trainers review the government-approved Concussion Awareness Resources every year.

The requirements for sport organizations are:

  1. Ensure that athletes under 26 years of age, parents of athletes under 18, coaches, team trainers and officials confirm every year that they have reviewed Ontario’s Concussion Awareness Resources
  2. Establish a Concussion Code of Conduct that sets out rules of behaviour to support concussion prevention
  3. Establish a Removal-from-Sport and Return-to-Sport protocol