Childhood injuries are a leading source of emergency department and inpatient hospital admissions. Unintentional injuries are also noted as the leading cause of death in children within the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention*. Many of these injuries are life-changing and include brain and spinal cord damage. The good news is that most injuries are preventable and children can learn to reduce their risk.
The ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Program educates young people about the importance of making safe choices. ThinkFirst chapters, such as the one at Central DuPage Hospital (CDH), provide thought-provoking, upbeat programs at schools and community groups. In addition, the CDH ThinkFirst Chapter has distributed hundreds of bike helmets and booster seats at safety presentations.
Healthcare professionals and educators discuss how students can protect their body by using their mind. The messages are simple, straight forward and age-appropriate:
- Always buckle your seat belt
- Never use your cell phone or text while driving
- Never get into a car with anyone who is under the influence of alcohol/drugs
- Always wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, scooter or skateboard
- Never jump into swimming pools head first, only feet first
Programs are divided according to age: kids (kindergarten through 3rd grade); youth (4th through 8th grade); and teens (high school and college). Teens especially relate to Voices For Injury Prevention (VIP) speakers, individuals who have suffered a traumatic injury who share personal stories of how one poor choice forever changed their lives.
To learn more about ThinkFirst or to schedule a school or community presentation, please call 630-933-1934.
*National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC 2007.