Concussion information and procedures

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Concussion information and procedures

Active children have a higher risk of getting a concussion. These head injuries can happen at any time, including during non-sporting activities. The OCSB is dedicated to protecting our students from all types of head injuries. When head injuries do occur in our schools, we treat them seriously and carefully. We know that recognizing and responding to a concussion is vital to a child’s recovery.

Understanding how head injuries can happen

A concussion can happen from a blow to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth within the skull. A person can fall and hit their head on the ground, but a blow to the body could also result in a brain injury. For example, a person can be pushed very hard from behind, causing their head to jerk backward (like whiplash). This can cause a head injury or a concussion.

Signs and symptoms of a concussion

Signs and symptoms of a concussion can be subtle and may not be noticeable right away. Symptoms can last for days, weeks or even longer, and may include any of the following:


  • headache, pressure in the head, or dizziness
  • temporary loss of consciousness or amnesia
  • difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • unusual behaviour such as depression, anger, or irritability
  • drowsiness or difficulty falling asleep
  • ringing in the ears, nausea, vomiting
  • sensitivity to light and sound

Time out periods

The terms “return to learn” and “return to physical activity” are used to help identify and deal with concussions. Parents and school staff work closely together (using detailed charts and forms) to carefully track a student’s activities after a suspected or medically diagnosed concussion.


Return to learn

The injured student must reduce all mental and physical activities for at least 24 hours, in order to assess the severity of the injury. This is essential, since learning and memory difficulties may make it very difficult for the student to concentrate and recall learning during this period.

Return to physical activity

The injured student is removed from the possibility of re-injury (recess, gym class, sports) during the healing process. Even a small amount of physical activity may lead to a re-injury that can have serious and life-time permanent effects of brain injury.

Procedures to be followed at school

There are very specific steps to be followed by school staff, students and parents in the event of a suspected or medically diagnosed concussion. If a suspicious injury to the head or body occurs, an assessment checklist is used to determine if any there are any concussion signs or symptoms. The checklist then illustrates which steps to follow next. Students with medically diagnosed concussions are documented as they move through the detailed time out periods.

The OCSB strongly suggests that all students with a suspected concussion seek professional medical attention. In cases of head or body trauma where the student was, for any time, unconscious, unresponsive or dazed, parents are required to seek medical treatment before the student can return to school. Only a medical doctor can diagnose a concussion.

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Support document

The Support Document for Concussion Related Brain Injuries contains resources to assist with the prevention, identification, and management of head injuries and concussions.

What’s inside this document?

Table of Contents
Concussions: What you need to know
Diagnosed concussion injuries – information
Community coach concussion awareness and education
Concussion prevention planning

Informed consent for student participating and acknowledgement of risks
Chart 1: Steps and responsibilities for suspected concussion
Chart 2: Steps and responsibilities for diagnosed concussions
Concussion Signs and Symptoms form
Suspected Concussion Injury form
Return to Learn/Return to Physical Activity plan
Diagnosed Concussion Injury forms (1 and 2)