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New GTHL Concussion Policy Enhances Player Safety

TORONTO, ON (August 26, 2016) The Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL), in conjunction with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, has implemented a new concussion policy for the upcoming 2016-17 season. This policy will be one of the most comprehensive concussion policies to date for minor sports in Ontario.

The policy offers a unique evidence-based approach to concussion identification, management and recovery, and demonstrates the GTHL’s commitment to prioritizing the safety of its players.

Among many things, the policy also ensures that the GTHL community is equipped with the tools, training and education needed to identify and manage concussion in youth athletes. The policy includes important parameters on how team officials will identify suspected concussions; provide pathways to seek proper medical attention; provide a hockey-specific return to play protocol with guidelines, and help support a safe and gradual return for hockey players after sustaining a concussion.  Most importantly, this new policy explains roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders involved in a youth athlete’s hockey life, including coaches, trainers, managers, officials, parents and the player. Further, the new concussion policy ensures all players who are suspected to have sustained a concussion during GTHL activity do not return to activities before being medically cleared by a professional.

Professionals from Holland Bloorview’s concussion centre will educate all coaches and trainers on the new policy prior to the start of the season.

The GTHL’s new concussion policy further enhances the League’s efforts to ensure participants are playing in the safest possible environment and builds upon their existing policy surrounding head injuries and concussions, which has been in place since 2006. The latest policy is just one piece in a greater collaboration between Holland Bloorview and the League to enhance the safety of youth hockey players.

For more information on the GTHL and concussions, visit www.gthlcanada.com/concussions.

About the Greater Toronto Hockey League
Founded in 1911, the GTHL is a non-profit organization and the largest minor hockey league in the world. The GTHL registers more than 40,000 annual participants in Mississauga, Toronto, Markham and Vaughan.

About Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital, fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. We pioneer treatments, technologies, therapies and real-world programs that give children with disabilities the tools to participate fully in life. Holland Bloorview’s concussion centre is one of the first in the world dedicated exclusively to pediatric concussion. Visit www.hollandbloorview.ca for more information.

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