Miracle Monday: Brain injury awareness and a program to educate kids on that importance of helmets

SPOKANE, Wash. — Sunny and warm days, BBQs, and time outdoors: summer is officially here.

As we head into a season of time spent outdoors, we’ve also been recognizing brain injury awareness through June and how many of those injuries are preventable.

If you have a child who’s been through the 4th grade recently, in our area, there’s a good chance they’ve been fortunate enough to learn why helmets are so important.

The 4th-Grade Head Injury Prevention Program took off 12 years ago to reduce the number of head injuries that come into the children’s ER.

“We talk to the children about the brain and its functions. We show them images and talk about skull injuries,” said Denise McCurdy, a Nurse Manager for Trauma Services at Providence Health Care. She was inspired after seeing too many preventable head injuries.

In every class, they share a moving story of a young boy out of Seattle who was saved by his helmet. Their aim at fourth graders is deliberate because they know kids are impressionable at this age.

“Seeing the kid after the accident happened is just so surprising to me,” said Dylan Watson, who took the class last month.

“He came home and told me about it and I thought it was such a great program because we teach our kids, just as parents, safety, prevention, hey wear a helmet, but we don’t tell them why,” said Dylan’s mom Sherri Watson.

Every kid that is part of these programs takes home a free helmet, and for many, that’s all they need to put one on.

The educators of the group say that many kids who don’t wear helmets don’t have one, because their families can’t afford one.

Dylan had a helmet of his own before, but now he’s ready to upgrade.

“You could see it had more cushion on the inside and was thicker and bigger on the outside and so this one is probably better to wear than the ones I wear because they’re made of foam,” he said.

It’s phrases like “When a child falls off their bike and they’re not wearing a helmet and they hit their head, they get a crack in their skull the same way you crack an egg,” that leaves a lasting impression on kids.

If you’re interested in bringing this program to a school you know, contact Denise McCurdy at 509-474-4924.

If you’d like to donate to Children’s Miracle Network to support programs just like this, in our own area, head over here.

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