The basic goals of this unit:

  • Learn about the three parts of the Nervous Systems
    • Central
    • Peripheral
    • Autonomic
  • Learn some basic parts of the Brain
  • Introduce the 6 Vital Signs and their average readings
  • Gain an understanding of the AVPU consciousness scale
  • Learn about Inter Cranial Pressure
  • Review Acute Stress Reactions
  • Learn about Seizures and Strokes
  • Learn about the ‘Recovery Position’ and when to use it.
  • Learn how to do a Motor/Sensory Exam and Spinal Injury Evaluation
  • Learn how to perform Spine Stabilization
    • Continue with Learning how to Move and Transport a Spinal Injury Victim if age appropriate.
  • Continued practice with Triage
  • Learn some common Brain and Nervous System Disorders

Our Reading Resources for The Brain and Nervous System:
(Pictures of these books, more details about each, and some helpful links can be found on the Elementary First Responder Home Page.)

  • The Navigating the Nervous System Chapter of “A Trip Through the Body;” pages 102-227
  • The Skull and Nervous System Chapters of “The Bones Book;” pages 24-35
  • The Central Network chapter of Reader Digest’s “How the Body Works;” pages 115-133
  • The Exam and Vital Signs sections in the Outward Bound book; pages 16-19
  • The Nervous System Chapter in the Outward Bound book; pages 57-67
  • The Spinal Injury and Spinal Fracture Section of the Outward Bound book; pages 33-34, 92-97
  • The Nervous System chapter of “The Human Body Book” by Parker pages 84-103
    • NOTE: This chapter is really detailed. Use it at whatever level is appropriate for your child.
  • The Nervous System Disorders section of “The Human Body Book” by Parker pages 112-119
  • The Head, Neck, and Back Injury section of your preferred 1st Aid book. (We have a Boy Scout 1st Aid handbook, a Pediatric First Aid student guide, and the John Hopkins First Aid for Children Fast book)
  • SOAP study #8, #9, and #10 in the Wilderness Medicine Workbook

Some Hands-On Activities and Field Trip Ideas

  • The Brain activity pages in Scholastic’s “The Body Book”
  • Experiments in the Central Network Chapter of Reader Digest’s “How the Body Works
  • Practice Stabilizing a Spinal Injury Victim. Practice Transporting them.
  • Google ‘parts of the brain paper craft‘ for ideas. We specifically did the ‘Make a Brain Hat’ craft.
  • The Memory Game in Scholastic’s “Make it Work! Body” page 34-35

So how did it go for us?!

There is a LOT of information on the Brain! There are a lot of pages listed above, and I’m not going to lie, we didn’t do them all. Part of the issue is that the brain is very complicated! But we all know that. I read some of the easier books, and ended up skipping a lot in ‘The Human Body Book’ by Parker. The most important things I wanted Nathan, at age 7, to walk away with were a few basic parts of the brain and their basic function, and in that, that different parts of our brain supply us with different pieces of information.

It has to be restated that the reason Nathan is learning anatomy has to do with his interest in becoming a firefighter. The real goal is for him to learn the basics of some of the first responder skills he will use.  With that in mind, I didn’t need to dive too deeply into how neurons transmit or the details of memory, taste, sight, and hearing. We did, however, go entirely through all listed three sections in the Outward Bound Book, with the goals of understanding how to identify an ‘MOI Spine’ injury, the reason that stabilizing the injured person is so important, and how to read the signs that someone has a head injury or nervous system problem and make a judgement about how sever it might be.

We must have done alright, as the other day a friend took a spill on their bike, and Nathan made sure to check them out. He came in later to let me know what had happened, “He hit his head, but he’s going to be okay. He remembers the fall. I asked him what happened and he remembered, so I don’t think he has a major head injury. He remembers it all.” At least I know all the hard work is paying off!

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