ThinkFirst and have a safe summer

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With warm weather comes a host of exciting outdoor activities: swimming, boating, biking, road trips, fireworks and camping to name a few. But, when precautions aren’t taken, many of these activities can also end in injury.

One group at SIU School of Medicine makes it their mission to prevent that. ThinkFirst is an injury prevention program offered by SIU School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine. ThinkFirst at SIU is a chapter of the national ThinkFirst Program sponsored by the American College of Neurosurgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons throughout the country. The group offers injury prevention programs as a public service, at no cost.

Some of their programs include:

ThinkFirst for Teens - ThinkFirst health professionals and an injured speaker present the basic brain and spine anatomy, how injuries occur and how they can be prevented, followed by the first-person story of how brain or spinal cord injury changed a life.

ThinkFirst fot Youth/Teens - Focusing on bike helmets, seat belt usage, and basic safety regarding preventing brain and spinal cord injuries, our interactive brain and spinal cord injury presentations are available for elementary through middle school students. ThinkFirst for Kids is presented to children in grades K-3, while ThinkFirst for Youth is presented to children grades 4-8.

Child Safety Seat Education and Checkpoint Events - As partners with the Illinois Department of Transportation, ThinkFirst provides assistance at local car-seat/booster seat checkpoints and educational events.

Bike Helmet Fittings - To prevent pediatric acquired brain injuries, SIU School of Medicine's ThinkFirst program works with local schools to educate and fit students with bicycle helmets, as resources are available.

Crash Re-Enactment Events - In an effort to reach teens on a deeper level, ThinkFirst helps organize crash re-enactments at local high schools. Community partners, including local law enforcement and emergency rescue personnel, are involved in planning and together, a mock crash scene is created to demonstrate the leading cause of injury and death for teens. SIU School of Medicine facilitates the planning and assists with the moulage make-up.

Victim Impact Panels - SIU School of Medicine’s ThinkFirst program provides an injured speaker to present information to court-ordered DUI offenders in several central Illinois counties.

So this summer, remember to ThinkFirst and have a happy, healthy season.

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