Moving ahead together on preventing injury
As you will see, our newsletter is packed with stories this month about the many activities and partnerships Parachute has participated in recently. I'm very grateful to our partners and stakeholders for their continued support and commitment.
You will be pleased to know that we're making terrific progress in developing our strategic plan and we're looking forward to receiving your input. We invite you to take a short survey of 10 questions designed to gather feedback regarding Parachute's vision and focus areas. We believe that having your input at this stage will result in a stronger plan to mobilize Canadians and we thank you for taking time to share your thoughts.
It's also been great to see the media continuing to take an interest in injury prevention. In fact, Parachute's work has featured in more than 100 stories in print, radio, TV and on the web so far this year, with a total reach of more than 17 million people.
I'm delighted that we continue to make progress together as we work to reduce the burden of injury on Canadians. I look forward to continuing this journey with you.
Louise Logan, BA JD
President & CEO
Parachute co-chairing Canadian Global Road Safety Committee
Parachute and the Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals will co-chair the Canadian Global Road Safety Committee for the next two years, succeeding Transport Canada. The committee grew out of a December 2005 United Nations Global Assembly resolution that included a call for a global week dedicated to road safety. The first such week was in April 2007, organized by the World Health Organization and UN Regional Commissions.
Canadian road safety partners developed the Canadian Global Road Safety Committee, which coordinated the selection and travel of eight young Canadian delegates to the World Youth Assembly for Road Safety in 2007, resulting in the Youth Declaration for Road Safety. The Canadian Youth Road Safety Committee was formed as a result of this conference.
New concussion resources now on Parachute website
Many important new resources on concussion are now available at Parachute's website, developed for the project, Preventing Child and Youth Concussion in Team Sports. The project's aim is to reduce the rate and severity of concussion and brain injury in child and youth team sports by reducing its incidence and improving return to play decision-making.
Through a contribution agreement with the Public Health Agency of Canada, ThinkFirst Canada, (now Parachute), partnered with the Coaching Association of Canada, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and Hockey Canada to create new materials for athletes, families, coaches and officials, educators, health professionals and others.
Those who attended the 2013 Dr. Charles Tator Lectureship with keynote speaker Ken Dryden, got a first look at some of these materials. These include: the Coaching Association's new concussion resources in its National Coaching Certification Program, Aboriginal coaching modules and eLearning modules; the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport's Active and Safe Ethical Decision-Making Game, pledge and self-assessment tool; and Hockey Canada's concussion applications for smart phones, designed for kids and adults.
The Parachute products include enhancements to our current concussion programs, including TD ThinkFirst for Kids and Brain Day, and a new 3E's bilingual Concussion Tool Kit, addressing the issues of engineering, enforcement and education. You can find all these at the Parachute website, along with links to our partners' materials.
In related news, the I ThinkFirst contest wrapped up with three winners announced from over 50 submissions from 128 students from across Canada. The contest builds upon lessons learned in the TD Think First For Kids curriculum. Students submit creative art projects, explaining why and how they "Think First!" to prevent injury when they are active.
Congratulations to the two winning classrooms who will be receiving helmets for their students: Ms. Matheson's Grade 2 class from Manning Elementary School, Manning, Alta., for their bright and colourful paintings, and Ms. Englezos' class from Trinity Montessori School, Markham, Ont., for their creative poetry and short stories. Congratulations also to our third winner, Hannah Malott, Boys and Girls Club of Sarnia/Lambton, Ont. Check out all the submissions in our Facebook album. And here's a sneak peek at a couple winning entries.
I Think First
I always wear a helmet
My bike has a reflector and a comfy seat.
I fasten my special horn
And I try to stay out of the heat.
I always wait for my dad
And help my brother too.
We ride to the park
In our cool bikes that are blue.
By: Braeden Lau
Finally, the ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation in the U.S. has updated its educational videos in the last few years, which are available to schools and Canadian ThinkFirst chapters in English, French and Spanish. For example, the Street Smart DVD is directed to elementary school children while the Think About Your Choices DVD is for use in high schools, middle schools and post-secondary institutions. Visit the website for more information.
Safe Kids Week: spreading the word on concussions
Safe Kids Week is an annual public awareness campaign designed to raise awareness about the frequency and severity of preventable childhood injuries, the leading cause of death and disability of Canadian children. It centres on a single issue and incorporates such elements as public relations, community activation, research, government relations and advocacy.
State Farm and Parachute launch national teen driver safety campaign
Thanks to a $300,000 investment from State Farm, Parachute has announced a new campaign aimed at reducing the leading cause of death among Canadian teens: motor vehicle crashes. Global TV news covered this announcement.
Parachute's teen driver safety campaign will involve a number of elements aimed at bringing greater awareness to the issue, including establishing a national Teen Driver Safety Week in October, developing a central website to anchor the campaign, creating a curriculum for high schools and choosing youth ambassadors from across Canada. Parachute and State Farm will launch Teen Driver Safety Week at Parliament Hill and will urge the Canadian government to formally endorse the week. While the campaign is still in its planning stages, research points to key issues of distracted and impaired driving behaviour.
Parachute will also support State Farm's complementary Celebrate My Drive program, which unites high schools and their communities by generating support for their schools while encouraging safe driving commitments. Find out more at Parachute's website.
Driver education helped her avert a crisis
Parachute is pleased to have the support of Young Drivers of Canada for our Is It Worth It? campaign, as we recognize driver training is important when learning the rules of the road. Hannah Kraicer - Melamed, a Parachute Youth Advisory Team member, contributes the following article, explaining how important this training was to her:
I recently went through an experience that made me grateful for the training I had with Young Drivers. I was driving to my cottage in rural Ontario with four of my friends. I had recently received a car from my grandfather and was eager to explore the area around my university. I was driving on a two-lane highway, in poor visibility, when I saw headlights coming towards me on my side of the highway. Young Drivers taught me to always plan an escape route while driving, and at that moment, I understood why. I checked my rearview mirror and my blind spot, and then slowed down and pulled over onto the shoulder as the aggressive driver passed, just narrowly missing my front right bumper.
I believe it is important that new drivers get trained by professionals, not only because they teach the rules of the road, but because they also teach essential safety techniques that protect the driver, passengers, pedestrians, other drivers, and anyone else on the road. Young Drivers' in-class lessons provided an overview of rules of the road and allowed us to work through scenarios that drivers face. The interactive class environment included problem solving exercises and videos, as well as more traditional teaching. I found the one-on-one environment for in-car training to be low stress. Knowing that I was with an expert, who is able to take over with their brake (or reach over and grab your wheel) is comforting and makes learning how to drive easier.
Young Drivers' mandate is defensive driving, training the pupil to control the road and to know that they are responsible for their own safety. They equipped me with the skills and techniques needed to be a safe driver.
Ontario Regional Injury Data Report released
The Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre, housed at Parachute, has released the Ontario Regional Injury Data Report. This report contains numbers and rates of injury-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths, by cause of injury for the six Ontario health regions. It also includes recommendations to prevent injury.
The report's evidence-informed practice recommendations relate to the major injury issues within each region. Researchers at the OIPRC developed recommendations for preventing injuries related to off and on-road vehicle use pedestrians, falls, sports and recreation, poisoning, suicide and violence. An expert panel reviewed each before they were finalized.
The OIPRC hopes the report will help communities throughout the province better understand the most common causes of injury locally and the best strategies to prevent them. The regional reports are at the OIPRC website.
Support Bill 18 - preventing carbon monoxide poisoning Parachute is pleased that an important piece of legislation has been reintroduced in Ontario. Bill 18: The Hawkins Gignac Act calls for the mandatory installation of carbon monoxide alarms in all Ontario homes with a garage or fuel-burning device, such as a furnace or fireplace. Carbon monoxide alarms are currently required only in new Ontario homes built after Aug. 6, 2001.
Carbon monoxide is a leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in Ontario, Canada and North America. An estimated 414 Canadians died of carbon monoxide poisoning between 2000 and 2007, including 87 in Ontario. Installing a carbon monoxide alarm on each level of a home and outside every sleeping area is key to protecting lives. Without a carbon monoxide alarm, families are unable to detect the presence of this poisonous gas. Symptoms of exposure are often mistaken for the flu and either ignored or misdiagnosed. That is why carbon monoxide is referred to as "the silent killer" - it is colourless, odourless and tasteless.
Through its legacy organization, Safe Kids Canada, Parachute has been an active supporter of carbon monoxide legislation for some time. In April 2012, we appeared before a House of Commons committee in support of the legislation. Support is needed again to ensure the passage of Bill 18. If you would like to see every family safe from carbon monoxide, please contact your MPP to voice your support.
Congratulations to members of our Safe Communities network
Parachute heartily congratulates two members of our network who have been awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. Congratulations to retired chief of police Barry King, Ontario provincial Safe Communities lead, and to Woodstock police chief Rod Freeman, co-chair of Safe Communities Woodstock. Both Rod and Barry have been terrific assets to Safe Communities, and we thank them for their hard work and dedication in making Ontario a safer place to be.