In response to the rising incidence of concussions among children and adolescents, the province of Ontario recently introduced the Ontario Policy/Program Memorandum on Concussions (PPM No. 158) requiring school boards to develop a concussion protocol. As this is the first policy of its kind in Canada, the impact of the PPM is not yet known.
An electronic survey was sent to all high school principals in the Toronto District School Board 1 year after announcement of the PPM. Questions covered extent of student, parent, and staff concussion education along with concussion management protocols.
Of 109 high school principals contacted, 39 responded (36%). Almost all schools provided concussion education to students (92%), with most education delivered through physical education classes. Nearly all schools had return to play (92%) and return to learn (77%) protocols. Although 85% of schools educated staff on concussions, training was aimed at individuals involved in sports/physical education. Only 43.6% of schools delivered concussion education to parents, and many principals requested additional resources in this area.
One year after announcement of the PPM, high schools in the Toronto District School Board implemented significant student concussion education programs and management protocols. Staff training and parent education required further development. A series of recommendations are provided to aid in future concussion policy development.