Injury is the leading cause of death and disability among children and young adults. Traumatic injury can be caused by vehicle crashes, violence, falls, sports, and other causes. The only “cure” is preventing injuries from happening in the first place.
Our Level 1 Trauma Center strives to secure the safety of our youngest population. This requires a multifaceted public health approach to identify injury risks, generate action to minimize these risks and provide a means to actively protect children from injury. We offer a variety of national programs through our partnerships with community centers, schools, parent organizations and religious organizations, in which education is provided for the entire family: children, teens, parents, and grandparents.
About 1.7 million Americans sustain a brain injury annually, with children and adolescents at a high risk. Traumatic brain injuries, like most injuries, can be prevented by making safe decisions. Think First is an educational program with a goal of reducing injury among children, teens and young adults. Our center is the New York State Chapter for Think First. The Think First curriculum is implemented in schools across Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties for grades K-12; it covers a variety of age appropriate safety topics and can be delivered for groups of all sizes.
Impact Teen Drivers
Impact Teen Drivers is a nationally recognized distracted driving program that was organized for the purpose of providing awareness and education to teenagers, their parents and community members about all facets of responsible driving. The goal is to reduce the number of injuries and deaths suffered by teens as a result of distracted driving and poor decision making. In addition to the education offered, we have added three driving simulators so teens can experience the hazards of distracted driving firsthand in a safe environment, enhancing the overall impact of the program. Impact Teen Drivers is offered for older high school students who are just beginning to drive or have been driving, and this program also offers a parent component.
Child Passenger Safety
Car crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for all Americans under the age of 40. Young children, our most vulnerable population, can avoid serious injuries or death in a crash with a correctly used car seat. Unfortunately, it is estimated as many as seven out of 10 car seats are installed incorrectly. We offer educational workshops in community centers, schools and religious organizations where parents, grandparents and caregivers can learn the basics of proper car seat selection and use. Additionally, car seat check events are offered once a month at the hospital from March through November. These events are an educational service with a goal of teaching parents how to install their car seat in their own vehicle. For this hands-on event, participants are asked to come with both the car seat and vehicle owner’s manual and to have the seat installed on arrival.
Bike and helmet safety
Children, adolescents, and young adults account for about 60 percent of bicycle-related injuries seen in emergency departments across the U.S. While the majority of these injuries are non-fatal, a head injury can be life changing. The use of a helmet can reduce the risk for head injuries by 85 percent, according to Think First. We offer bike safety education and helmet fittings in schools and communities across Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties. Additionally, we have established a hospital-based helmet program, in which we provide preventive education and a new helmet to patients who come to the emergency department after sustaining an injury due to a bicycle accident, in order to prevent another injury.
Each year in the U.S., more than 2,200 children (or six kids a day) die at home from unintentional injuries, and more than 3.5 million children are seen in the emergency department for injuries that commonly happen in the home. To prevent these types of injuries, we offer multiple home safety workshops to PTAs and other parent organizations. These workshops cover fall prevention, child proofing, hazards in the home, poison control education and best practices for safe sleep. During this interactive workshop, parents will also learn about child proofing products, and the importance of registering any baby equipment such as high chairs and cribs.
Pedestrian hits are the No. 1 one killer of New Yorkers, more specifically children under the age of 14. At Cohen Children’s, it's the third leading cause of pediatric injury. We’re addressing this challenge through two programs. The first is Safety Street, an interactive educational activity offered at various elementary schools. During this activity, students can practice crossing the street with our life-sized street model, and they learn about safe and unsafe pedestrian behaviors. We also created a second program, Safe Drop Off, in response to a crossing guard that was struck during the morning drop off outside a local elementary school. This program used a combination of education, enforcement and a "drop off zone" to create a safer environment around the school. The pilot school showed a 26 percent reduction in hazards during the morning drop off.
Stop the Bleed
Stop the Bleed, an initiative of the American College of Surgeons, was launched in October 2015 by the White House. It’s a national awareness campaign and a call to action intended to educate, train and empower civilian bystanders with the necessary skills and tools to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. When a response is delayed, massive bleeding from any cause can result in death. Similar to how the general public learns and performs CPR, the public must learn proper bleeding control techniques, including how to use their hands, dressings and tourniquets. Stop the Bleed is available to any organization interested.