Experts Join Twitter Chat to Discuss Sports-Related Head Injuries in Kids

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Dec. 1, 2014) – The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma (@injuredkids) will host a Twitter chat at #HelmetSelfie to discuss prevention and treatment options to reduce head injuries in kids on Tuesday, Dec. 2, from 1-2 p.m. EST. Head and face injuries can be reduced by nearly 50 percent if a helmet is worn during bicycle and all-terrain vehicle activities. Richard Childress Racing drivers and other sports figures are supporting the campaign by posting photos of themselves wearing helmets to encourage helmet use.


The chat will discuss:

  • Latest research about children’s head injuries
  • Education about how to protect kids from head injuries during recreation and sports
  • Advocacy suggestions for parents/families, athletes, trainers, physicians and coaches
  • Signs and symptoms of a possible concussion
  • Treatment options


Experts participating in the chat include:

  • Valerie Maholmes, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
  • Kristy Arbogast and Dr. Mark Zonfrillo, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Center for Injury Research and Prevention
  • Buddy Curry, Former NFL player; Kids and Pros Football Experience, co-founder
  • Ashley Donahue, Certified athletic trainer
  • Gerry Gioia, Children’s National Medical Center, Division Chief & Professor of Pediatric Neuropsychology
  • Soren Johnson, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and bike safety advocate
  • J. Wayne Meredith, Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma/Wake Forest Baptist
  • Jason Mihalik, Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center
  • Alex Powers, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Judy Pulice, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, National Manager of State Legislative Affairs
  • Rick Rauck and colleagues – biking advocates
  • Peter Schaffer, sports agent
  • Joel Stitzel, Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University Center for Injury Biomechanics, Biomedical Engineering Program Leader
  • Richard Childress Racing drivers and teams


Each year, U.S. emergency departments treat an estimated 173,285 sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, among children and adolescents from birth to 19 years old, which equals almost 20 injured children every hour.* A concussion is a brain injury and all are serious, with most concussions occurring without loss of consciousness. Proper use of helmets and recognition of head injuries can prevent injury or even death.


To learn more about the signs of concussions in kids, and other serious injuries to children, visit, or find the Childress Institute via social media on Twitter @injuredkids, and


About the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma

The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma helps injured kids get the best care, when they need it the most. Life-threatening injury is the No. 1 killer of kids in America causing nearly 10,000 deaths each year – more than all other causes combined. The Childress Institute invests resources in research, education and advocacy to improve the treatment for critically injured children in the U.S. The Childress Institute was founded at and receives considerable support from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and was established through the generosity of Richard and Judy Childress. For more information, please visit


Media contact: Kara Thompson, 336-713-1625,


*The numbers provided are according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For more info, please visit