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Brain Injury Awareness Week 1- 8 July

NEWS RELEASE
27 June 2003

Brain Injury Awareness Week 1- 8 July
Targets Schools With Safety Message

One in 30 students will sustain a brain injury before turning 16, according to the Brain Injury Association. That means that most New Zealand classrooms will have someone in them who has suffered brain injury or will in the future.

So Brain Injury Awareness Week, to be held next week from 1-8 July, will focus squarely on the safety of school children: promoting preventive measures and helping teachers recognise and help children who have suffered brain injuries.

Harley Pope, Director - Marketing of the Brain Injury Association of NZ (BIANZ), says approximately 10,000 children are seen in New Zealand public hospitals each year as a result of head injury and many more will sustain injuries but will not even see a doctor.

Common causes are car accidents, falls, assaults and sports injuries. While most injuries are classified as mild, ten per cent could have ongoing problems two years after the accident.

“To bring these figures down, we want to make children more aware of the dangers and to take effective safety measures like wearing safety helmets when cycling or skate-boarding, obeying road rules, wearing mouthguards in contact sports and observing stand down periods in sport if concussed,” Mr Pope says.

Brain injured students are likely to be tired, to suffer headaches and be easily distracted. During recovery, which can take some time, they need a learning environment that minimises distractions and a structured routine with clear expectations of appropriate behaviours.

brain injury message targets children ……. 2

The role of the teacher is crucial in identifying the problems and facilitating learning. BIANZ, with assistance from USL Medical, is distributing to all schools a “Tips for Teachers” leaflet to help them deal with children suffering mild brain injury. It explains how to recognise the symptoms, what to look out for and how best to help the student learn during recovery.

BIA Liaison Officers will speak at schools around the country during Brain Injury Awareness Week and a nationwide street bucket collection will be held on Saturday
5 July with the assistance of service clubs, staff members of corporate sponsor
USL Medical, BIA members, family and friends.

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