Injury Prevention


Injury prevention at the Montreal Children’s Hospital

Injury is the leading cause of death and disability in the pediatric and adolescent population. According to the World Health Organization, each year approximately 950 000 deaths in children under the age of 18 years, are due to injuries (1).

In Canada, unintentional injury is the leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 18 years of age (2) and the second leading cause of hospitalization in children aged 5-15 years (3).Additionally, injuries across all age groups cost Canadians 26.8 billion dollars a year in direct and indirect costs (4).

In Quebec (2000 to 2005) trauma was responsible for the death of an average of 207 children under the age of 18 years, annually. Injury is the leading cause of death in children aged 1 to 18 years. Traumatic injuries accounted for 7 688 hospitalizations in children and adolescents which is the third (11%) most important cause of hospitalization. (5)

At the Montreal Children’s Hospital Trauma Centre, we have more than 16 000 injury related Emergency visits and more than 270 trauma hospitalizations each year. Approximately 30-35% of trauma related injuries seen at The Montreal Children’s Hospital Trauma Centre are sustained while participating in sports and recreational activities. Other causes of injury include: motor vehicle collisions; falls; burns; poisoning; drowning; and acts of violence (abuse, assault).

Most of these are preventable. It is important to be aware of the risks, follow the safety recommendations for specific sports and activities, and make informed choices. It is also advisable for parents, teachers, and coaches to set a positive example by doing the same.

As a trauma centre, we at the Montreal Children’s Hospital are continually faced with the challenge of finding an effective way of conveying the important message of balancing activity and fun with safety. According to the World Health Organization, prevention strategies should be developed through a combination of education, environmental measures, and in some cases enforcement. Endless legislation is not always the most well received and effective strategy.

Having a good time does not preclude being informed and making wise choices. Our injury prevention program aims to promote health through the prevention of injuries. A day of activity and fun should not end in a visit to the trauma centre.

1.       World Health Organization

2.       Public Health Agency of Canada (2013) Leading Causes of Death 2008

3.       Public Health Agency of Canada (2016) Leading causes of hospitalizations, Canada, 2009/10, males and females combined, counts (age-specific hospitalization rate per 100,000)

4.       Parachute (2015) The cost of Injury in Canada

5.       Institut national de santé publique du Québec,(2009), les traumatismes chez les enfants et les jeunes québécois âgés de 18 ans et moins : état de situation.

Who we are

Trauma Director : Debbie Friedman

Injury Prevention Coordinator: Liane Fransblow

Is The Thrill Worth It?

If schools are interested in this program, please contact:

Liane Fransblow 514-412-4400x 24805 or

Angeliki Souranis 514-412-4400 x 22797

“Is the Thrill Worth It?” is a program developed by the Montreal Children’s Hospital Trauma Centre targeting secondary IV and V students. It’s goal is to encourage students to reflect, be aware of risks and make informed choices with regards to responsible driving.

This interactive program highlights the importance of shared responsibility with respect to road safety.  “Is the Thrill Worth It?” aims to promote student’s confidence in dealing with challenging scenarios related to driving. This is a 2-part program that includes: the grade-wide “Is the Thrill Worth it?” presentation on risk  factors associated with car crashes presented by staff from our Trauma  Centre, as well as the student-run safe driving marketing campaign  Student Leadership in Injury Prevention Program (SLIPP).

The 2 part nature of the program allows the students not only to learn about the risks related to driving, but also to take ownership of the   message which will be reinforced through different creative initiatives throughout the school year.

Student Leadership in Injury Prevention Program (SLIPP)

SLIPP is a student-run yearlong education and awareness campaign focused on road safety, the prevention of motor vehicle collisions in young drivers and acute alcohol intoxication. Student leaders will develop and produce various unique public awareness activities targeting their peers.  The SLIPP student leaders are expected to lead and complete a minimum of 5 activities by the end of the school year.

Expectations of the School:

If you choose to participate in SLIPP, your school would need to identify a staff member who would work closely with the Montreal Children’s Hospital representative. The staff member’s role would be to assist in the recruitment of student leaders, attend regular planning meetings and be a resource person for these students in the planning and implementation of their activities.

Student Involvement

A selected group of 8-10 students in secondary IV and/or V will be chosen to be SLIPP leaders. They are expected to attend a training workshop provided by the Montreal Children’s Hospital Trauma Centre Injury Prevention Program and are provided with a comprehensive guidebook. They will also be required to attend regular planning meetings at their school.   They are expected to plan a minimum of 5 activities throughout the school year including a public service announcement

The following are some examples of the activities that past SLIPP leaders have planned:

  • Instagram campaign on always wearing a seatbelt
  • Morning announcements about road safety facts
  • Fatal vision obstacle courses
  • Mario cart distracted driving challenge
  • A pledge “donut” drink and drive

Trauma Centre Involvement

The Trauma Centre representatives will orient the students during the SLIPP training session. They will work closely with the student group throughout the program and will be available as a guiding resource. Regular on-site or virtual meetings will be provided to offer assistance and follow up with progress and program activities.

Is the Thrill Worth It Presentation

The Is the Thrill Worth it? Presentation is a 90 minute, interactive presentation given by trauma experts from the Montreal Children’s Hospital Trauma Centre.

The presentation focuses on an original video created by the Montreal Children’s Hospital Trauma Centre Injury Prevention Program. The video shows 4 scenarios of teenagers performing unsafe driving habits including: distracted driving, speeding, not wearing seatbelts and impaired driving, culminating in a 4-way crash. The students are then encouraged to reflect and analyze each scenario by identifying the issue as well as strategies which could have been used to ultimately prevent the crash. Subsequently, the students are presented with information that explains the scope of the problem, tips to avoid these behaviours from the perspective of both the passenger and the driver and concrete strategies on avoiding these unsafe actions.

Interactive videos and activities are incorporated throughout the presentation to keep the student’ attention.

The presentation is concluded with a testimonial called “Craig’s Story” told through the voice of his mother who shares the tragic loss of her son as a result of impaired driving and reflects on the life-long impact it has had on his family, friends and community.


“Taking part in SLIPP was an enlightening experience. I got to learn vital information along the way and provide awareness about a cause I definitely feel passionate for. We were students talking to students and that was the most powerful part of the whole initiative.”      -  SLIPP Student Leader

“The presentation was fantastic. They captured the students attention from the beginning and never lost control of the group. They had a really good balance of facts, student involvement, and media clips. Both presenters were well informed on the topic and confident in presenting the information. The end of the presentation, where the students were able to see Angeliki being interviewed was extremely powerful and I believe it tied it all together as to why this is such an important topic to be speaking and learning about.” -Guidance Counselor and SLIPP staff leader




Refer a patient 

Liane Fransblow, Coordinator

514-412-4400 x 24805

Hôpital de Montréal pour enfants