LONDON, ON, Dec. 2, 2013 /CNW/ - For over 20 years, London Health
Sciences Centre's (LHSC) trauma program has been making an impact on
the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of teenagers to reduce
drinking/drugging and driving through its Impact program. Impact aims to heighten teen awareness of the potential consequences of
On National Safe Driving Week, Dec. 1 - 7, LHSC's trauma program has
announced that the Impact program, supported since 2007 by Children's Health Foundation, will be
expanded to incorporate other driving issues teenagers are facing such
as distraction and fatigue and behavioural issues such as binge
drinking and peer pressure.
Over the past year, LHSC's injury prevention team conducted focus groups
with over 200 grade 10 and 11 students at 10 London and surrounding
area secondary schools. "We wanted a fresh understanding of all the
issues affecting teenagers and driving in order to educate them about
the consequences of high-risk behaviour in a way that is relevant and
meaningful to them," says Jane Harrington, injury prevention
The focus groups at secondary schools revealed that 55 percent of high
school students surveyed drank alcohol in the past year, 22 per cent
had used cannabis in the last year, 14 per cent had used opioid pain
relievers in the last year and 8.7 per cent had smoked cigarettes.
Notably, the use of drugs increases with grade.
"Many of the results we found were expected, but we also received
feedback from students about texting and driving, self-harm, abusive
relationships, same sex relationships, and peer pressure," continues
Harrington. "These issues do not affect teenage driving behaviours, but
they can lead to injury."
Students were also asked about the effectiveness of injury prevention
messages and identified that they would like presentations to focus on
personal experiences with relevant video and images.
Acting upon that feedback, LHSC's trauma program partnered with Josh
Field Support Network, a non-profit, family based organization, with
the mission of raising awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.
Together, they created a video to be shown during Impact presentations that would provide a personal and relevant experience.
The video - "Distracted Driving - Josh's Story" - focuses on the impact
that one moment of distraction still has on Josh's family, friends and
a community four years after Josh was tragically killed in a motor
"Distracted Driving - Josh's Story" can be viewed on LHSC's Youtube
Channel at http://www.youtube.com/LHSCCanada
About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in
Canada for 138 years and offers the broadest range of specialized
clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its
founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic
teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children's
Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care
Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes -
Children's Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research
Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London
Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 65 international and
national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around
the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre
cares for the most medically complex patients including critically
injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The
hospital's nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers
provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more
information visit www.lhsc.on.ca
Children's Health Foundation is dedicated to raising and granting funds to support Children's
Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre, Thames Valley Children's
Centre and Children's Health Research Institute. Since 1922, funds
raised have helped deliver exceptional care and support for children
and their families by providing specialized paediatric care, equipment,
education programs, therapy, rehabilitation services and research. To
learn more about how you can positively impact the health of children,
youth and their families, please visit www.childhealth.ca.
SOURCE: London Health Sciences Centre
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