Preventing head injuries isn't brain surgery

ThinkFirst Canada presents Brain Day across Canada

TORONTO, March 15 /CNW/ - Today marks the start of international Brain Awareness Week, a unique partnership of more than 1,700 organizations in 57 countries. In Canada, ThinkFirst Canada is teaching children to use their brains to protect their bodies by presenting the ThinkFirst Brain Day program in schools this spring.

The effort to draw attention to the serious issue of brain injury is supported by leading neurosurgeons across Canada. "The recent concern about concussion in hockey is one example of the need to focus on prevention," says Dr. Charles Tator, neurosurgeon and founder of ThinkFirst Canada. "Injury is the leading killer of Canadian children and youth and more than half of these deaths are from brain injury. Surgery is not the main solution to serious brain injury. We cannot restore damaged brain tissue. Prevention is the only cure."

Brain Day is a hands-on, half-day program presented in classrooms from coast to coast. It shows students how their brains work, what happens when the brain is damaged and how they can protect themselves from a brain injury. Classrooms become laboratories as students conduct scientific experiments on the five senses. The program is delivered by hundreds of ThinkFirst Canada volunteers and student presenters from universities across Canada.

Whether students are in the classroom for a Brain Day presentation, or outside enjoying March Break this week, "ThinkFirst reminds children and parents that the brain is fragile," says Rebecca Nesdale-Tucker, executive director of ThinkFirst Canada. "When kids are playing hockey, biking or tobogganing, it's vital that we get them to adopt life-saving injury prevention habits, including wearing a properly fitted helmet. Prevention doesn't mean hibernation. It means getting trained, wearing the gear, and using your brain to navigate risks."

ThinkFirst Canada has created new fact sheets to help kids and parents prevent catastrophic injury during numerous sport and recreational activities. To download safe sport tips, including a new hockey fact sheet, and to learn more about the work of ThinkFirst Canada visit

ThinkFirst Canada is a national, charitable organization dedicated to preventing brain and spinal cord injury. Founded in 1992 by renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Charles Tator, ThinkFirst Canada continues to be an injury prevention leader encouraging children and youth and those who care about them to be active and safe. ThinkFirst advocates for proven injury prevention strategies including helmet use. At the heart of ThinkFirst Canada are 19 Chapters that stretch across the country. ThinkFirst's injury prevention message is promoted through TD ThinkFirst for Kids, sport programs, schools, community presentations, concussion education and with the help of VIPs (Voices for Injury Prevention), a dedicated group of injury survivors who share the message that prevention is the only cure.


For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Deirdre Dimitroff, (416) 915-6565 x 225,; Rebecca Nesdale-Tucker x 224,

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