Neurosurgeons in Denver to Promote Head Injury Prevention at two Sunday Events

DENVER (April 10, 2011) - In an effort to protect children from bicycle-related head injuries, 250 Denver-area children have been invited to attend the Community Kids Bike Helmet Day at INVESCO Field and get fitted with free bike helmets. This event is cosponsored by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation. The Integra Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Integra LifeSciences Corporation, has awarded a grant to ThinkFirst in support of this injury prevention event. This event is also sponsored by Elekta.

This event will launch the official start of the Eighth Annual National Neurosurgery Awareness Week (NNAW), a celebration that coincides with AANS Annual Scientific Meetings. The 2011 NNAW theme is There’s Always Another Game, but You Only Have One Brain.

“The AANS and ThinkFirst encourage the use of helmets for every wheeled sport, including biking, skateboarding, inline skating, and when riding a scooter. Every year, more than 500,000 people visit emergency rooms in the US with bicycle-related injuries,” said ThinkFirst Chairman Mark R. Proctor, MD.

“And more than 85,000 people were treated for bicycle-related head injuries in 2009; of those, nearly half were children age 14 and younger. There are about 600 bicycling deaths a year, with two-thirds attributed to traumatic brain injury,” said AANS President James T. Rutka, MD, PhD.

“Approved bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent, yet only about 50 percent of cyclists wear a helmet when they ride, and even fewer wear them correctly. It is essential that the helmet fit properly so that it doesn’t fall off while riding or if you take a fall,” said Gail L. Rosseau, MD, an AANS and ThinkFirst board member and spokesperson.

WHO:   AANS and ThinkFirst physicians, leaders, spokespersons, and trained volunteers, along with up to 250 Denver elementary school children, ages K-5. The media is encouraged to attend, but only children and parents with tickets will be admitted – this event is by invitation.

In addition to receiving properly fitted helmets, hands-on activities include fun demonstrations such as gelatin brains, egg-brain drops, proper helmet usage, and educational stations. Street Smart, the ThinkFirst safety super hero will be present, offering a terrific photo opportunity to take pictures with the children.

A highlight of the Opening Reception will be appearances by sports celebrities, including former pro cyclist Saul Raisin, who sustained life-altering head injuries. Rounding out the festivities will be ThinkFirst injury prevention stations devoted to football, skiing/snowboarding, bicycling, summer sports, and ice hockey, streaming video presentations, special exhibits, and a raffle. For admittance, you must have a ticket or show press credentials.

WHEN:   Sunday, April 10, 2011
2:30 to 4:30 pm, Community Kids Bike Helmet Day – Ticketed event
6:30 to 8:30 pm, 2011 AANS Annual Meeting Opening Reception – Ticketed event
WHERE:   INVESCO Field at Mile High (Enter at Gate 9), 1701 Bryant Street, Denver
CONTACT:   Denver contact for the Community Kids Bike Helmet Day: Tracey Holmberg, ThinkFirst Denver-Metro Chapter, (303) 788-5358 or