Concussions and Minor Sports in Niagara

Concussions don’t just affect professional athletes. They are particularly common among children and youth involved in organized sports.

In an effort to protect young athletes against concussions, Niagara Region Public Health provides free and ongoing support to minor sport organizations across Niagara. The Concussions and Minor Sports webpage was recently (September 2014) launched to support and broaden our engagement strategy with minor sport organizations across Niagara. Previous to this time, consultations were held with representatives from various minor hockey associations and minor soccer clubs across Niagara to assess needs, identify current practices, share resources, and ‘pilot’ our services that address concussion awareness, education, and policy development.

Is your team concussion safe? Be ahead of the game!

While a concussion can occur in any sport, current efforts target team sports played by children and youth where we see the highest rates of concussion/brain injury:

  • Ice hockey
  • Soccer
  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Rugby
  • Lacrosse
  • Ringette

There is a new standard emerging around the expectation of sport organizations – including minor sports – to have a concussion policy. Greater public awareness of the seriousness of concussions in young athletes/students (e.g., as outlined in the Ministry of Education’s PPM#158) will demand more accountability from minor sport organizations.

Parents with children participating in minor sports within Niagara should be asking questions of their child’s sports league or club – to see how they are addressing the issue of concussions and the proper management of them in young athletes.

To learn more about concussions, visit the Ontario Government – Concussions Web Portal.

Kelly Wilson, B.A. (Honours), M.A.
Health Promoter, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention
Niagara Region Public Health
905-688-8248 ext. 7306

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