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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 110, Issue 2, pp 165–168 | Cite as

Staying true to Rowan’s Law: how changing sport culture can realize the goal of the legislation

  • Melissa D. McCraddenEmail author
  • Michael D. Cusimano
Commentary

Abstract

Rowan’s Law was recently introduced into Ontario legislation following the death of Rowan Stringer, a young rugby player for whom a string of head injuries culminated in her death. The law mandates the removal from play of any youth athlete suspected to have a concussion and makes concussion education mandatory for certain individuals involved with youth sport. This commentary addresses the larger issues within sport culture that may limit the effectiveness of the law, and describes how awareness alone is not sufficient to generate change. The law can sometimes lead to a false sense of security, as well as retaliatory actions for those who are motivated to hide concussion. We describe the role of all persons involved with youth sport in facilitating a cultural shift to honour the intent behind Rowan’s Law.

Keywords

Craniocerebral trauma Sports Prevention & control Legislation 

Résumé

La loi Rowan a récemment été introduite dans la législation ontarienne à la suite du décès de Rowan Stringer, une jeune joueuse de rugby, décédée des suites d’une série de blessures à la tête. La loi prescrit le retrait du jeu d’un jeune athlète suspecté d’avoir subi une commotion cérébrale et rend obligatoire l’éducation relative à la commotion cérébrale pour certaines personnes entraînant les jeunes à des pratiques sportives. Ce commentaire aborde les vastes problèmes liés à la culture sportive pouvant limiter l’efficacité de la loi, et décrit comment seule la prise de conscience ne suffit pas à générer un changement effectif. La loi peut parfois mener à un faux sentiment de sécurité, ainsi que des actions de représailles pour ceux qui sont motivés à cacher leur commotion cérébrale. Nous décrivons le rôle de toutes les personnes impliquées dans le sport chez les jeunes pour faciliter un changement de culture afin d’observer l’intention de la loi Rowan.

Mots-clés

Traumatisme craniocérébral Les sports La prévention et le contrôle Législation 

Notes

Funding statement

The authors are supported by CIHR Strategic Team Grant in Applied Injury Research, #TIR-103946.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St. Michael’s Hospital – NeurosurgeryTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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