West Haverstraw, NY – Approximately 1.7 million people in the United States suffer a fatal or debilitating brain or spinal cord injury each year. The ThinkFirst Helen Hayes Hospital Chapter seeks to lower this number by providing hundreds of area students with injury prevention programming throughout the school year. But the need for injury prevention education does not end when school is out—in fact, an increase in outdoor, recreational, and water activities calls for increased vigilance when it comes to keeping young people safe.
ThinkFirst Helen Hayes Hospital Chapter Director and Program Director of the SCI/Stroke Services at Helen Hayes Hospital, John Ficucello, PT, advises that there are a number of safety precautions one should take to prevent injuries in the warmer months. He states that young people should “ take a moment to ensure safety, including knowing the water depth before diving in, always kayaking with a buddy, always wearing a helmet when biking, and driving safely and attentively.”
Ficucello adds that parents should discuss playground and sports safety with their children to help them understand the body’s limited ability to prevent injury. This is especially true for recognizing the brain’s vulnerability and risk of concussions with certain activities. Parents of young, new drivers must educate them on the major risks associated with drinking, texting, and traveling with multiple passengers.
ThinkFirst HHH encourages young people to heed these safety tips and use their minds to protect their bodies all year long. For more injury prevention tips or to learn more about scheduling a presentation with the Think First Helen Hayes Hospital Chapter of the award-winning ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation, please contact John Ficucello at 845-786-4799.