Policies, Regulations Forms and Bylaws

1360-10 | Participation by Children with Down’s Syndrome in Physical Activities

Date Approved: February 19 2015
Date Reviewed/Amended:

Some Down's Syndrome children have an instability in the spine close to where it joins the skull. Participation in some physical activities by Down's Syndrome children with this weakness can result in very serious injury (atlantoaxial dislocation). Severe injury to the upper spinal cord may result. 

Therefore, in order to protect Down's Syndrome students, the Board of School Trustees requires that all Down's Syndrome students be properly screened by a medical doctor prior to their participation in physical activities. Down's syndrome students shall not be permitted to participate in physical activities without written approval by a medical practitioner permitting participation in physical activities. 

Physical activities for Down's Syndrome children with an instability in the spine close to where it joins the skull are identified as the following: 

gymnastics, diving, butterfly stroke in swimming, diving starts in swimming, high jump, pentathlon and soccer. 

  1. Down's Syndrome students may be permitted to participate in physical activities only after approval by a medical doctor to participate in such activities as defined by Board Policy. The permission shall be in writing. 
  2. The Administrative Officer is responsible for maintaining a record of the status of each Down's Syndrome student in regard to their possible instability in the spine. 
  3. The Administrative Officer shall advise staff of which Down's Syndrome students suffer from an instability in the spine or who have not yet been examined by a medical doctor. Such students shall be prohibited from participating in physical activities as defined in Policy.