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?

Is The Thrill Worth It? goes remote!

If schools are interested in this program, please contact program coordinators:

Liane Fransblow, Trauma Coordinator, Injury Prevention Program 514-412-4400x 24805 [email protected] or

Angeliki Souranis, Social Worker, Trauma 514-412-4400 x 22797 [email protected]

“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 program is now virtual to comply with our unprecedented reality.

 “Is the Thrill Worth It?” is a 2-part program* that includes: (1) the "Is the Thrill Worth it?" presentation on risk factors associated with car crashes presented by staff from our Trauma Centre, as well as (2) student-run peer-leader injury prevention campaign. The 2 part nature of the program allows the students not only to learn about the risks, but also to take ownership of the prevention messages which will be reinforced through different creative initiatives throughout the school year.

 *Schools can choose to only participate in the presentation modules.

“Is the Thrill Worth It?” Presentation

During the 2020-2021 school year, The Is the Thrill Worth it? Presentation was adapted to be a 45 minute virtual  presentation given by trauma experts from the Montreal Children’s Hospital Trauma Centre. For 2021-2022, we will continue to abide by public health guidelines and provide the presentation in whatever format is allowed depending on the epidemiological situation at the time.

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 presentation focuses on these 4 scenarios. The students are encouraged to reflect and analyze the scenarios by identifying the issue as well as strategies which coul have been used to ultimately prevent the crash.

Interactive videos, guest speakers and quizzes are incorporated throughout the presentation to engage students.

By choosing to participate in the peer-leader program (SLIPP) (see below), schools will be able to continue the dialogue of each topic. Following each module the chosen student leaders will be formulating virtual activities and challenges for their peers to reinforce the message. We strongly encourage schools to opt for the combination of presentations and SLIPP as this allows the students to understand the issues from the professionals, but then take ownership of the message and encourage safe behaviours amongst themselves.

Student Leadership in Injury Prevention Program (SLIPP)

SLIPP is a student-run year long education and awareness campaign focused on road safety and the prevention of motor vehicle collisions  in young drivers. Student leaders will develop and produce various unique activities targeting their peers.

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, participate in planning meetings with students and be a resource person for these students in the planning and implementation of their challenges.

Student Involvement

A selected group of 5-10 students in secondary IV and/or V will be chosen to be SLIPP leaders. They are expected to participate in a virtual orientation session provided by the Montreal Children’s Hospital Trauma Centre Injury Prevention Program. They will also be required to participate in regular planning meetings. 

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
  • Public Service Announcement videos

**Activities can be in person or virtual depending on the public health situation.

Trauma Centre Involvement

The Trauma Centre representatives will lead the virtual orientation session. They will work closely with the school staff throughout the program and will be available as a guiding resource. Regular virtual meetings will be provided to offer assistance and follow up with progress and program activities.

Upon completion of the program all SLIPP leaders are given participation certificates by the Montreal Children’s Hospital Trauma Centre.

Schools in the past have counted participation in SLIPP as a part of mandatory community service hours.


“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

[email protected]

Hôpital de Montréal pour enfants