Federal Minister of Health launches mobile concussions app
OTTAWA- Athletes, teachers and coaches from Glebe Collegiate Institute gathered today for the unveiling of a new mobile app designed to give Canadians free access to critical concussion resources. Concussion Ed was launched by the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, and Louise Logan, President and CEO of Parachute at a special assembly on the importance of brain health.
It is estimated that over 155,000 Canadians suffered concussions in 2014. Concussion Ed seeks to help fill a much needed information gap by providing users with interactive resources and tools around how to prevent, recognize and manage concussions, including when to see a doctor and guidelines for returning to sports and learning activities. Led by Parachute, the app was developed under the guidance of its Expert Advisory Committee and with members from the Canadian Concussion Collaborative to select relevant, evidence-based material.
The launch comes just in time for Brain Injury Awareness month and Parachute Safe Kids week, a national awareness campaign that brings attention to predictable and preventable injuries in children and youth. Also in attendance to lend their support to the event were CHEO Pediatric Neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Vassilyadi, and Gordon and Kathleen Stringer, whose daughter's concussion-related death led to the introduction of Rowan's Law in Ontario.
Concussion Ed was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and builds on the Budget 2016 commitment to harmonize concussion management guidelines across Canada, focusing on athlete and student return-to-play and return-to-learn protocols. Minister Philpott will be working on this initiative with the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, who will also be speaking to this further in the coming weeks.
The app is available for free in the Apple App Store as well as Google Play for Android devices, with a web-based version available at www.parachutecanada.org.
- Concussions in sport are a recognized public health problem because of their frequency of occurrence and their potential short- and long-term consequences. These include cognitive, emotional and physical symptoms, and when left undetected, even death.
- More than 50% of child and youth injuries treated in emergency departments are sports and recreation-related, with concussions being among the most common type.
- Football, soccer and hockey have all shown a greater than 40% increase in rates of reported head injury (relative to other injuries) between 2004 and 2014 for children and youth.
- The Government of Canada is investing $294,000 in this project through the Innovation Strategy.
"Too many individuals experience concussions during sport and recreation activities, sometimes with tragic outcomes. Our ultimate goal is to reduce the incidence and severity of brain injuries among Canadians – especially youth - to provide consistent and harmonized concussions guidance. Concussion Ed is a first step in the right direction, and I am so pleased to working with my colleague Minister Qualtrough and our partners at Parachute to help launch this app as part of Safe Kids Week."
The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health
"Thank you to Parachute Canada and all of the partners for their important work in the development of the Concussion Ed app. Information and awareness of the ways to prevent and, if necessary, manage the impacts of a concussion are so critical to the safety of everyone who participates in sport, from recreational sports and sport leagues to our national teams and high-performance athletes. I'm looking forward to sharing the app with my colleagues, the Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Sport and Recreation, when we meet in Lethbridge, Alberta on June 8-9, 2016. Within a busy and broad agenda, we'll be discussing the path forward to a harmonized Canadian concussion strategy."
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough,
Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
"Parachute is proud to launch Concussion Ed, which will put life-saving information into the hands of Canadian youth, parents and coaches. This free app was developed with input from expert advisors and support from the Public Health Agency of Canada. Concussion Ed will help prevent, recognize, manage and track the signs and symptoms of a concussion. Parachute is committed to helping Canadians lead long, healthy, active lives and Concussion Ed will help achieve that goal."
President and CEO, Parachute
"Concussion Ed is something I encourage all coaches, parents, teachers and athletes to download. It has critical information on how to keep your family and players safe. With Concussion Ed, prevention is the cure."
Dr. Charles Tator
Neurosurgeon, Member of the Canadian Concussion Collaborative and Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
For further information: Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709; Public Health Agency of Canada: Media Relations, (613) 957-2983; Parachute, Andrea Piunno, 647 776-5134 (w), 905 999-9215 (c), firstname.lastname@example.org