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Preventing brain injury

Learn about traumatic brain injuries like concussion and spinal cord injuries, and what to do if you or someone you know suffers from one.

April 22, 2019

About Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. It is a serious health problem in the U.S., contributing to a substantial number of deaths and cases of permanent disability.

Not all bumps, blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. Severity may range from "mild", such as a brief change in mental status/consciousness to "severe", such as, an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. Most TBIs that occur are concussions or other forms of mild TBI.

About Concussion

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. It changes the way the brain normally works. Concussions can also happen as a result of a fall or a hit to the body in which the head and brain move quickly back and forth.
More Information: Mild TBI and Concussion | Concussion | Traumatic Brain Injury | CDC Injury Center.

Concussion Treatment vs. Concussion Management

The best treatment for concussion is rest. It can take one to three weeks to fully recover from a concussion. It is vital the concussion is managed throughout the entire recovery process.

Creating a support system around a student athlete is paramount to concussion management. Adults at home, at school and on the field, must change the student athlete's environment to maximize their concussion recovery.

REAP Concussion Management

The REAP Project helps adult support people and student athletes understand how to modify the environment during concussion recovery in a way that will prevent further injury and promote healing.

REAP: Reduce, Educate, Accommodate, Pace.  This community-based concussion management program works on the premise that concussion should be managed by multidisciplinary team:

  • the student athlete
  • family
  • members of the school team
  • medical team

More Information: Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children’s Concussion Program

Spinal Cord Injuries

Thousands of Americans experience a spinal cord injury every year. Such injuries can cause significant physical and emotional distress and time away from work. Spinal cord injuries are commonly caused by motor vehicle crashes, sports-related injuries, violence (including gun shot wounds).

More Information:

ThinkFirst Denver Metro - Injury Prevention Program

An estimated 1.7 million brain injuries and 12,000 - 20,000 spinal cord injuries occur in the US each year. Injury is the leading cause of death among children and teens. Most commonly, these are caused by car accidents, violence, falls, sports injuries. However, most injuries are preventable! The ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation has an award-winning, evidence-based programs to help people learn to reduce risk for injury. More Information:

ThinkFirst was founded by neurosurgeons to help decrease unintentional injury, which is the leading cause of childhood death and disability. HealthONE is a member of ThinkFirst Denver Metro. We are proud to provide the comprehensive educational services Denver Metro area youth with the  "use your mind to protect your body" message.

Programs Free of Charge

ThinkFirst for Kids (Grades 1-3) Increases knowledge and awareness among children of the causes and risk factors of brain and spinal cord injury, injury prevention measures, and the use of safety habits.

ThinkFirst For Youth (TFFY) (Grades 4-8) The ThinkFirst For Youth program is an important time to help students learn the importance of protecting themselves, as they are increasingly faced with decision-making challenges involving their safety.

ThinkFirst for Teens This upbeat program teaches teens about personal vulnerability and risk taking. The message is that teens can have a fun, exciting life without hurting themselves if you think first and use your mind to protect your body!


April 22, 2019

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