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Canada-wide concussion protocol won’t apply to professional athletes: sports minister

A conference on concussions and brain injuries hosted by Gov. Gen. David Johnston called for a single, national concussion standard to simplify sometimes confusing messages to parents and young athletes. CP/Andrew Vaughan

OTTAWA – Canada’s sports minister says national standards on identifying and treating concussions – and when athletes can return to play – won’t apply to professional sports leagues.

Carla Qualtrough says the protocols being developed will only apply to amateur sport organizations that receive federal funds, but she intends to make a strong case to professional leagues operating in Canada to adopt the national standards once they are finalized.

Qualtrough says the standards being developed will include sport-specific protocols for when athletes can return to playing because each sport has different and distinct risks associated with it.

READ MORE: Should kids play football? Study shows brain changes in young football players without concussions

She says the benchmarks could also be adopted more widely to outline when anyone can return to play, to work, or to school after a concussion.

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Attendees at a Tuesday conference on concussions and brain injuries hosted by Gov. Gen. David Johnston called for a single, national concussion standard to simplify sometimes confusing messages to parents and young athletes.

During the conference, former National Hockey League player Eric Lindros said a national protocol to diagnose and treat concussions should be taught in schools to help young athletes, coaches and their parents recognize a head injury.

WATCH: ‘I thought I got traded to Pittsburgh and was going to play with Mario’: Eric Lindros describes concussion
Click to play video: '‘I thought I got traded to Pittsburgh and was going to play with Mario’: Eric Lindros describes concussion' ‘I thought I got traded to Pittsburgh and was going to play with Mario’: Eric Lindros describes concussion
‘I thought I got traded to Pittsburgh and was going to play with Mario’: Eric Lindros describes concussion – Dec 6, 2016

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