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"Think First" Injury Prevention Program Visits West Orange High School

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Juniors and seniors at West Orange High School attended a special program during health and physical education classes on June 5 called "Think First." The program is sponsored and run by Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.
The Kessler program is part of the "Think First" national outreach that seeks to educate in an effort to stop preventable injuries. Children, teens, and young adults are considered the highest risk group for injuries. "Think First" provides educational programming to raise awareness and encourage individuals of all ages to think before engaging in activities that may lead to brain injury, spinal cord injury, or other serious injury that may lead to permanent disability.
Begun in 1992, "Think First" offers a variety of presentations, including pedestrian, motor vehicle safety, playground, bicycle, sports, and water safety. 
The guest speakers, known as "VIPs" (Voices for Injury Prevention) for the WOHS session were Karon Johnson, JD Guerrieri, and his mother Sherry Guerrieri. All the speakers shared one thing in common - that each one suffered a spinal cord injury following what they considered to be a bad decision."
The speakers noted that "no one ever wants to suffer a spinal cord injury," because breaking your neck or back can become a permanent and paralyzing injury. The VIPs described the realities of life after injury and the everyday struggles they face, discussing the difference between paraplegic and quadriplegics.
Students came away awed by the speakers' stories of survival and educated to think twice before making dangerous decisions that could change their lives forever. They left students with the strong message that "most injuries are preventable."
Kessler Think First
Kessler Think First
Kessler Think First
Cynthia Cumming
June 19, 2019