Canadian Government Developing Guidelines for Managing Concussions

"Canadians are asking for and have a growing need for accurate concussion information across the country. This is very important work, and we look forward to continuing to work with the government on raising awareness of concussion treatment," said Pamela Fuselli, interim CEO of Parachute, an injury prevention charity.

The Canadian government is at work on guidelines for management of concussions, Health Canada announced late last week. Jane Philpott, minister of Health, and Carla Qualtrough, minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, announced that the government is investing $1.4 million to develop a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to preventing, managing, and raising awareness among Canadians about concussions.

Currently, there is no common approach in Canada to address concussions, including those involving school students and athletes. "The goal of harmonizing concussion guidelines is to provide caregivers and front-line professionals, including parents, teachers, coaches, and health professionals, with consistent and evidence-based information. These guidelines will help to make sport and recreation safer for children and athletes, and to reduce the health risks associated with this serious head injury," Health Canada announced.

Parachute, an injury prevention charity, will lead the development of the harmonized concussion management guidelines and protocols and has established an Advisory Committee on Concussions with some of Canada's leading experts in the field. That committee will work on the guidelines and also sport-specific concussion protocols based on evidence resulting from the Fifth International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport, which is taking place in Berlin, Germany on Oct. 27-28, 2016.

"Canadians are asking for and have a growing need for accurate concussion information across the country. Parachute is pleased to see the federal government's commitment to preventing injuries and saving lives with funding for harmonization of concussion guidelines. This is very important work, and we look forward to continuing to work with the government on raising awareness of concussion treatment," said Pamela Fuselli, interim CEO of Parachute.

"In Canada, greater awareness is needed about concussions and their related potential dangers, particularly among those involved in sports and recreation activities. With comprehensive national concussion guidelines and protocols, children and their parents, athletes, coaches, and health care professionals will have the information they need to help prevent concussions and manage them carefully when they occur," Philpott said.

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