How do you get kids and teens on board with helmet safety? One Canadian non-profit hopes that its new TBI video game will help.
Each year, 564,000 children head to the emergency room with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These injuries result from falls, auto accidents, and sports collisions. Health and safety advocates have been working hard to get parents, coaches, and schools to take TBI prevention and screening seriously. But getting kids on board has been a challenge.
So now, the non-profit association BrainTrust Canada has come up with a new idea: a TBI video game. One part jumping game, one part point-and-click adventure, and one part trivia, the short retro-styled application is designed to appeal to a wide range of young users. BrainTrust partnered with CREW Marketing Partners to develop the game, which includes three possible player avatars: a skateboarder, a hockey player, and a construction worker. You can play it at www.protectyourhead.com.
The game is intended to target kids and teens in Okanagan County, Canada. Players who finish the game between February 27 and March 19 can enter to win food and prizes from the area. The developers tested the game with members of the regional Boys and Girls Club, Rotary, Kiwanis, and other similar foundations.
“We aim to be inventive when it comes to youth and our prevention programs,” said Magda Kapp, Director of Communications & Prevention Services for BrainTrust Canada. “There is nothing quite like this game, and certainly it’s unique from the standpoint of it being developed from a not for profit association. Our hope is that up to 80% of youth in the Okanagan play the new game, learn something along the way, and have the chance to win prizes! If we can prevent even ONE brain injury, it’ll be worth it, as the estimated cost for one serious brain injury over a lifetime is in excess of $4 million,” says Kapp, “not to mention the immense personal costs of a life changed forever.”
Human brains continue to develop until age 25. When kids suffer traumatic brain injury during childhood, it can delay cognitive development and affect their lives for years to come. Kapp says:
“Our frontal lobes – responsible for personality, decision making and judgment, are the last part of the brain to form. However, with up to 90 per cent of brain injuries being preventable, we hope that www.protectyourhead.com will bring some awareness to this issue with this hard to reach target group.”
Michigan players may not be eligible to win prizes, but the game can still teach local students the importance of helmet safety. Through a fun, dynamic TBI video game, developers hope to get kids to take concussions seriously and protect their brains while they’re enjoying everyday life.
David Christensen is a brain injury attorney at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. If you or someone you know has suffered a TBI as the result of an auto accident, contact Christensen Law for a free consultation.