GATINEAU – It’s Concussion Awareness Week across Canada. Sport, physical activity, and recreational activities are an important part of the lives of children and youth in Canada and have many associated social and health benefits. We also know that some of these activities can come with risk. Unfortunately, an estimated 46,000 of them were officially diagnosed with a concussion by hospital emergency departments in 2018–19 after suffering an injury while being active.
Concussions sustained while being active in sport or in play are a growing public health issue because of their frequency and short and long-term effects on brain health. Whether you are a high-performance or developing athlete, sport participant, coach, parent, or health care provider, you should be able to recognize the signs of a concussion and be aware of the steps required for a healthy recovery.
The Government of Canada works with federal, provincial and territorial partners responsible for sport, physical activity, and recreation to harmonize approaches on concussions. Together, we lead the pan-Canadian efforts on concussion awareness, prevention, detection, and management. Our government also continues to support national sport organizations so they can improve the rules of their sport, training protocols and behaviours with a view to reduce the risk of concussions.
In addition, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Government of Canada has invested $46.1 million over the last five years with more funding on the way in research and initiatives to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of traumatic brain injuries, including concussions.
We all have a role to play in preventing, recognizing, and treating concussions. We invite you to learn more about this debilitating injury by browsing through the resources on the Public Health Agency of Canada and Parachute websites so we can keep everyone—especially our children and youth—safe.
By working together, we can remain strong and healthy as we enjoy being active through the sport and recreational activities we love while remaining strong and healthy.