Wednesday, September 28th, 2022, is Rowan’s Law Day (#RowansLawDay, #WCDSBRowansLawDay) – a day to engage students, staff, and parents/guardians in activities that increase awareness about concussions and to share Rowan Stringer’s story.
Rowan Stringer loved rugby. A competitive and keen athlete, she was captain of her high school’s team. Tragically, in May 2013, 17-year-old Rowan died as the result of head injuries she sustained while playing rugby. In the week before her last game, Rowan was hit twice while playing, likely sustaining a concussion after each blow. Her concussions went unreported, and she continued to play. Rowan suspected something was not right—she texted a friend about her condition and used Google to search for information about concussions. When she was hit again in her final game, Rowan suffered what is known as Second Impact Syndrome— catastrophic swelling caused by a second injury to a brain still healing from previous trauma. Rowan collapsed on the field on May 8th, 2013 and died four days later.
In 2018, a new law called Rowan’s Law was passed in Ontario. It will help protect people who play sports, or play active games in schools, help teachers, parents/guardians and coaches learn about preventing concussions, and help people who get concussions to recover. Have you ever bumped your head or body? Probably! We’re all at risk of sustaining a concussion but because some bumps can hurt our brains and our brains may need a lot of time to heal, Rowan’s Law was created. Thanks to Rowan’s Law, all sports organizations and schools in Ontario will have new rules in place around concussions. Even when we do our best to prevent injuries there is always some risk. Rowan’s Law will help coaches, teachers, and parents/guardians, know when a child has suffered a suspected concussion and that they should immediately stop participating in physical activities, and help them to identify when it’s safe to play again.