ATV Accident Head and Neck Injuries Happen to Kids 12 or Younger
A recent study warns parents that ATVs often result in severe and potentially fatal injuries to the head and neck in children.*
ATV accident statistics reported that 280,000 kids received medical attention for head and neck injuries caused by ATV crashes over the past 25-years. This amounts to about 31 kids per day, and 46% of the kids injured were 12 years old or younger.
The ATV accident injury study examined data from the U.S. National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which researched these accidents and injuries reported from 1990 through 2014. The rates of injuries remained consistent during the 1990 to 1997 time period. However, the rate of personal injuries from 1997 to 2007, increased by over 140%. In the time period between 2007 to 2014, the number of injuries fell by 37%, and the reduction of injuries is unclear. One of the study's limitations is that the study only looked at data for injuries treated at emergency rooms and did not include treatment at doctor's offices and urgent care centers.
The ATV accident study reasoned that although the number of injuries has declined, ATV accident-related neck and head injuries continued to be the most common type of injury that can lead to serious medical outcomes. The long-term impact of a traumatic brain injury can include difficulty sleeping, concentrating, and controlling impulses, and other thinking impairments, according to Dr. Smith.
According to the study's researchers, each state determines the age in which a child may operate an ATV. The ages range from 8 to 18 and older. Another area of concern are the laws being passed in numerous local jurisdictions that allow ATVs on roadways. An ATV's tires are usually softer and have less air pressure, and this makes operating an ATV difficult to maneuver at high speeds. Also, the design of these vehicles makes them unstable around corners.
American Academy of Pediatrics' announced a list of recommendations concerning ATV use. These recommendations include wearing a motorcycle helmet, not driving an ATV until at least 16 years of age or older, and not operating an ATV with a passenger.
According to the study, the annual economic impact of pediatric ATV injuries and deaths is nearly $1 billion.
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