Facts and FAQs

What is Concussions Ontario?

Concussions Ontario is an information and resource portal which is used to share the work of the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) and partners on research and implementation projects in concussion. It serves to inform patients, family members, clinicians, administrators, and the public about our newest research and practice advancements in concussion care through Ontario.

What is the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation?

The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) is a health research organization that focuses on the practical application of research to improve the lives of people with an acquired brain inquiry or spinal cord injury, and the prevention of neurotrauma injuries. Through strategic research funding activity and the building of relationships with numerous partners and stakeholders, ONF fosters, gathers and applies research knowledge to increase the effectiveness and use of prevention, and to improve the systems of care, outcomes, and quality of life of those who have sustained a neurotrauma injury. The foundation receives its funding from the Government of Ontario.

What is a concussion?

Concussion is a brain injury that can be caused by a sudden acceleration of the head and/or neck resulting from a blow to the head or contact to the body. You do not need to lose consciousness to have sustained a concussion. Concussions can occur from many different activities including falls, motor vehicle collisions, sports, assault or being struck by an object. Symptoms can appear immediately or in some cases, hours to days following the initial injury.

To learn more about concussions and what you should do if you have had one, click here.

Who is most likely to have a concussion?

Anyone can experience a concussion. Concussions occur from slips and falls, motor vehicle crashes, workplace incidents, assaults, and most commonly, in sports or recreational activity. Concussions affect people at all ages, from the very young, to adults, to the very old. Males are more likely to sustain concussion than females, but this depends on the cause and age group.

What can you do to prevent concussions?

For more information on preventing concussions, take a look at ONF’s Injury Prevention program, and visit the website of our partner organization, Parachute.

I am a parent/coach/teacher/employer and am looking for information on returning to activity (i.e., work, school, sport) after a concussion.

Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation published concussion guidelines that include returning to activities after concussion, both for children and adults. For more information on return to activity after concussion, and to view the guidelines, click here.

Can you refer me to a specialist?

No. We understand that navigating the health care system can be difficult for both patient and family members. While we are working hard to help improve the province’s concussion care system through research and implementation, we are not in a position to provide referrals. As part of the Standards for Post-Concussion Care we offer a pathway and referral indicators for when you might need to seek specialist care. To view the Standards, click here.

What is the difference between the guidelines and the standards?

The guidelines are clinical practice recommendations to help health professionals identify and treat concussion effectively. These guidelines focus on patient care, for example, what to do if your patient has headaches or problems sleeping after concussion.

The standards focus on the system or process of delivering health concussion care by outlining the ideal pathway, health providers, and services. Clinics and health professionals can use the standards to make sure patients get coordinated and appropriate concussion care.

Both the guidelines and standards are based on the best available evidence, and where that is not available, they are based on the consensus of recognized experts.

Can I show this material at my appointments?

Yes. We encourage that you do this for appointments with individual health care providers or at concussion clinics. You can also show this material to your school or workplace, as appropriate. We know that the guidelines are long, and suggest that you print or show your provider the parts that are most relevant for you.