ThinkFirst: Injury Prevention for Kids and Teens
Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital is home of the Santa Barbara County chapter of ThinkFirst for Kids and Teens.
Healthcare professionals who treat patients with traumatic injuries have developed and implemented ThinkFirst over the last 20 years in an attempt to prevent young people from sustaining brain and spinal cord injuries.
Young people take risks and disproportionately sustain brain and spinal cord injuries. Four common causes of brain and spinal cord injuries are:
- Motor Vehicle Crashes
ThinkFirst for Kids and Teens educates elementary and secondary school students to think first, to use good judgment to minimize risk of injury as they play, explore and choose activities.
During one-hour presentations, healthcare professionals explain the anatomy and vulnerability of the brain and spinal cord, the risks and consequences of brain and spinal cord injury, and simple injury prevention strategies.
Accompanying the healthcare professionals are “VIPs” (Voices for Injury Prevention), individuals who have sustained brain or spinal cord injuries themselves, who share their experiences and discuss the physical, social, and emotional effects of their injuries. The simple message is to think first and use your mind to protect your body.