Injuries are what kill and maim children. A trauma nurse, medic, emergency medical technician or physician presents injury causation and prevention information that is age-appropriate for the audience. School programs are available in 48 locations in Oregon, as well as throughout the United States. .
Trauma Nurses Talk Tough to Kids About Life/Bike Safety
This class is designed for children in kindergarten through seventh grades, and their parents, and focuses on pedestrian, bicycle and auto safety.
For grades kindergarten through second, we accentuate the positive as much as possible. It is necessary to briefly cover what the brain does, so they can understand how important it is to keep their brain safe. We do this in a fun way by playing a short game of "Simon Says" and discussing what part of the body is essential for playing the game. As the younger grades are very impressionable, they do not need the material to be as hard-hitting as for the older students.
Almost as many children in this younger age group die as a result of being hit by cars as die as passengers in cars. It is very difficult to teach about this, since most of these kids think they know all there is about crossing a street. Because as many as 50 percent of auto/pedestrian incidents happen in crosswalks, we emphasize that defensive pedestrian techniques need to be practiced for street safety. The safest message is that small children should only cross busy streets if an adult is available to help them.
This is also true of driving a bicycle in the street. Bicycles are vehicles and we now use the term bicycle driver to emphasize that in the street, a bicyclist is required to follow all the rules every other vehicle driver follows. A child should not be allowed to drive a bicycle in the street until the he/she is at least nine years old, has taken a bicycle course and has proven on a number of bike rides with an adult that he/she understands and follow the rules of the road. Grades three through five require the message to be tougher than the younger grades. Boys, especially at this age, may be engaging in reckless behavior and may think the message is sissy stuff. We have found, however, that once the presentation is under way, they pay close attention to what is said and shown.
Grades six through nine are in transition, and are at risk for involvement with alcohol and other drugs, so we also talk about the risks this involvement causes in any recreational activity. We also place more emphasis on motor vehicle use and abuse. Even though they may not be driving, they may still be in situations where they are tempted to ride with someone who is driving in an unsafe manner.
Trauma Nurses talk Tough to Teens About Life/Auto Safety
The class designed for teenagers and uses facts, figures and a fairly graphic slide presentation to demonstrate the reality of the effects of unsafe driving behavior, plus underage alcohol or other drug use.
The high school program is the toughest of all. It include pictures of students who were killed in crashes. Kids need to understand that death is a real possibility when anyone engages in reckless behavior. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading killer of teenagers. Once a child turns fifteen, his or her chance of dying in a car crash increase seven times. For this age group, we stress the need for lots of driving practice and experience, and include information about motorcycles, driving at excessive speeds and drinking and driving. The more real you make the people, the more the message will stick in the minds of the students.