How Do Injuries Affect Us?: [A Learning Activity]

This learning activity helps raise staff awareness of childhood injuries-how common they are, their causes, and their impact. Head Start program managers may want to use this activity as a prelude to more in-depth training.

The following is an excerpt from Safety First: Preventing & Managing Childhood Injuries.

For This Activity You Will Need
Trainer Preparation Note
Points to Consider

Purpose: This activity helps raise staff awareness of childhood injuries-how common they are, their causes, and their impact.

For this activity you will need:

  • Flip chart paper and markers
  • Paper and pens or pencils

Trainer Preparation Note:
Before beginning this activity, copy the questions in Step 3 onto a sheet of flip chart paper.

Step 1: Explain to participants that this activity will help them to reflect on their own childhood experiences with injury.

Step 2: Tell participants: Think back to your own childhood and remember a time when you were injured, either a minor or a severe injury. As this activity will involve discussing your injury with other workshop participants, identify an injury that you feel comfortable talking about.

Step 3: Have participants pair-up with the person sitting next to them. Ask them to tell each other the story of their injury, and discuss the following questions:

  • What caused the injury?
  • What was the impact, physically and emotionally, on you and others?
  • How could the injury have been prevented?
  • What did the adults do well in response to the injury? What could they have done better?

Allow 5 to 10 minutes for discussion.

Step 4: Return to the larger group. Ask participants: What did you learn from discussing your childhood injury?

Points to Consider:

  • Childhood injuries are very common-we all have had them. We can all learn by reflecting on and sharing our experiences.
  • Childhood injuries are related to child development. As adults our role is to help children handle developmental challenges within an environment that is as safe as possible.
  • Injuries can have both physical and emotional consequences; both immediate and long-term. Although injuries usually cause pain and suffering, there can be positive learning outcomes from the experience. The emotional impact of injuries on children often depends upon how effectively adults respond to the injury.
  • After an injury, it is important to consider how it could have been prevented and take action to prevent similar injuries in the future. It is also important for adults to work through their sense of guilt over an incident.
  • Head Start staff should be aware of cultural differences in addressing accidents and injuries.

"How Do Injuries Affect Us?: [A Learning Activity]." Safety First: Preventing & Managing Childhood Injuries. Training Guides for the Head Start Learning Community. HHS/ACF/OHS/NCH. 1996. English.

Last Reviewed: June 2009

Last Updated: February 24, 2015