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ThinkFirst Injury Prevention Program

"Each year, an estimated 1.7 million persons in the United States sustain a brain injury, and 12,000 - 20,000 sustain a spinal cord injury. In fact, injury is the leading cause of death among children and teens. The most frequent causes of these injuries are motor vehicle crashes, violence, falls, sports and recreation. The good news is that most injuries are preventable!"  - National Injury Prevention Foundation/ThinkFirst Foundation

ThinkFirst is an injury prevention program that is offered free to schools (grades K-12) and community groups such as clubs, scout troops, and health fairs. The program is taught by a physical therapist from Gaylord Hospital and addresses the ways to prevent injury when participating in age-specific activities, such as bicycle safety for elementary students and drinking and driving for high school students. An important focus is helping students understand the impact of brain and spinal cord injuries and how they can be prevented.

  • The program can be done in a variety of settings.
  • The presentation is about 30 minutes for elementary students and 45 to 60 minutes for older students.
  • ThinkFirst incorporates active learning through demonstrations, videos (as appropriate), an injury survivor who talks about living with his or her injury such as a spinal cord injury, and a Q & A session. 

ThinkFirst is sponsored by Gaylord Specialty Healthcare and the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, Connecticut Chapter. For more information or to schedule the ThinkFirst Program for your school, classroom or community group:

Email: or call Megan LaPierre, Inpatient Therapy at (203) 284-2875 

ThinkFirst: Program Overview

The ThinkFirst program is offered as a free educational program by Gaylord to schools, community groups, and groups such as the Boy and Girl Scouts, etc. The program provides information about avoiding injury by helping students understand the life changing nature of some injuries such as brain and spinal cord injury. The program aims to teach students to think first and use their minds to protect their bodies. ThinkFirst is tailored to meet age-specific needs and activities by using demonstrations, personal stories from injury survivors and videos (when appropriate).

ThinkFirst: Elementary Program

ThinkFirst is a free injury prevention program offered to schools and communities across the state of Connecticut. The elementary program focuses on age-appropriate injury information and educational activities to help students understand how to prevent injuries. For elementary students the presentation is 30-45 minutes in length and is most effective in a classroom or small group setting.

ThinkFirst: High School Program

The ThinkFirst High School Program is a free injury prevention program offered to high school students. Erin Prastine, a physical therapist at Gaylord Hospital, explains the program which focuses on the life-changing consequences of brain and spinal cord injury and how teens and young adults can prevent these injuries.


ThinkFirst Program: (203) 284-2875

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