Back Pain Information for Kids

The THINK FIRST Foundation

The mission of the THINK FIRST Foundation is to prevent brain, spinal cord and other traumatic injuries through the education of individuals, community leaders and the creators of public policy.

The THINK FIRST Foundation

Each year an estimated 500,000 persons sustain brain and spinal cord injuries in the United States. The most frequent causes of these injuries are motor vehicle crashes, falls, sports and recreation, especially diving, and violence. Children and teens are at high-risk for these devastating injuries, many of which are preventable.

THINK FIRST, the National Injury Prevention Programs (formerly titled The National Head and Spinal Cord Injury Prevention Program) award-winning public education efforts target this high-risk age group. These upbeat programs educate young people about personal vulnerability and risk taking. The message is that you can have a fun-filled, exciting life, without hurting yourself if you "THINK FIRST" and use your mind to protect your body.

THINK FIRST programs are underway in communities throughout the United States, Canada, Chile, Australia, Singapore, Jamaica, Lebanon and Mexico. More than 8 million young people have heard the THINK FIRST message.


Think First For Kids - This comprehensive injury prevention program is designed to help young children develop lifelong safety habits to minimize their risks of sustaining brain, spinal cord and other traumatic injuries. The program targets children in grades 1-3 and covers six main topics: introduction to the brain and spinal cord anatomy; vehicle, water, bicycle, sports and recreational safety; as well as safety around weapons and creative problem-solving. The program educates students about activities that place them at risk, while teaching them the best ways to stay safe and injury-free. The learning experience is fun, yet meaningful.

Think First For Teens - This unique community outreach program targets junior high and high school students with the powerful injury prevention message that states, "Use your mind to protect your body." The program presentation elements include: the On the Edge video, an upbeat, age-appropriate video documenting the seriousness of high-risk behaviors and young people's susceptibility to them; a lesson describing the brain and spinal cord anatomy and physical results of injury; a highly motivating speech by a person, often a teen, who has sustained a permanent spinal cord or traumatic brain injury; and a discussion about bystander do's and don'ts. Reinforcement activities are often conducted as follow-ups to presentations.

THINK FIRST Makes a Difference

Prevention messages like those taught by Think First do have an impact, as demonstrated through success stories such as those following.

Think First Chapter Director Stephanie Lambers, Cincinnati, Ohio reports:

Shortly after a Think First presentation at their school four female students were involved in a motor vehicle crash. Fortunately, all were wearing their safety belts and injuries sustained in the crash were minimal. The students credited Think First for reinforcing the use of safety belts for injury prevention.

These students did THINK FIRST! These stories exemplify what happens when kids are educated about safety.

National Office Information

The National Office offers information to the public regarding injury prevention, training at a minimal cost to start a program, and technical support to local programs. Prevention Pages, a newsletter which features information on prevention efforts nationwide, news from the National Office, public policy updates, and reports on injury and prevention research, is available at no charge.

THINK FIRST Foundation
5550 Meadowbrook Drive, Suite 110
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
Phone: (847) 290-8600
Toll Free (800) Think56 (844-6556)
Fax: (847) 290-9005


Updated on: 02/01/10