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Each year, an estimated 1.7 million persons in the United States sustain a brain injury, and 12,000 - 20,000 sustain a spinal cord injury. In fact, injury is the leading cause of death among children and teens. The good news is that most injuries are preventable!

Through local chapters and healthcare professionals, ThinkFirst's programs inform young people that injuries can happen to anyone. Information is provided about the importance of making safe choices by using their mind to protect their body by:

  • Buckling up
  • Driving safe and sober
  • Making the car a "no phone zone"
  • Avoiding violent situations
  • Wearing a helmet
  • Checking the water before you dive
  • Lowering the risk to falling

The Central Ohio ThinkFirst Chapter presented 160 programs throughout the community this past year, reaching more than 9,500 individuals. Speakers include individuals who have sustained brain and spinal cord injuries who share their personal stories. Professional speakers include nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists from Ohio State's Rehabilitation Services, who work with brain and spinal cord injury patients. These speakers know firsthand why it is important to think first and reduce the risk for injury.

ThinkFirst programs are available for presentations in health or driver education classes or as an assembly presentation at schools in central Ohio. This ThinkFirst chapter is sponsored by The Ohio State University Medical Center's Level 1 Trauma Center and W. Jerry Mysiw, MD, Interim Director, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

For more information, contact:

Ann Smith PhD, RN, CRRN, ANP
Central Ohio ThinkFirst Chapter Director

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