What policies and procedures can help prevent concussion and support my student’s return to learn?
As with any health and safety issue, implementing policies and procedures related to concussion is an important step to create safe and supportive environments. This type of environment decreases the likelihood of a concussion happening at school and supports a student’s return to learn.
The Comprehensive School Health model, which uses a holistic approach to integrate health and education into school practices, can be beneficial for concussion policy development. This model encompasses the whole school environment with actions in four distinct but interrelated pillars.
The ‘Our School Policies’ pillar refers to provincial, district, school or classroom policies, rules, procedures, and codes of conduct at all levels that help create and maintain a safe and healthy school environment.
Key elements of policies that support concussion prevention and management include those that support:
- Adequate supervision of students during physical activities, like recess and lunch time activities
- Students wearing appropriate sporting equipment, like footwear that can protect the student from falling and sustaining a concussion, or helmets which do not prevent concussions but can decrease the risk of more serious injury.
- The response to concussion incidents that happen at school such as a concussion response protocol or procedure. This would be similar to or become part of an existing policy on responding to a student who is ill or injured at school.
- A student’s return to school following a concussion including return to learn planning, documentation and communication. For example, incorporating the return to learn planning and protocol outlined in the Concussion Awareness Course for School Professionals.
- Education of school personnel, including teachers, administrators and support staff, including professional days and information sessions. This could include using this website.
- Concussion awareness and prevention strategies such as parent handouts, school newsletters and websites
- Safe school environments such as the BC Safe, Caring and Orderly Schools guide
To help in the development of strategies including policies and procedures, examples of programs in other school jurisdictions are available in the Resources section.
For more information on developing policies related to concussion take the Concussion Awareness Course for School Professionals.