1000’s of U.S. Youngsters Have Died Using ATVs, Many Extra Despatched to ERs

By Denise Mann HealthDay Reporter


MONDAY, Sept. 26, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Pediatric surgeon Dr. Rony Marwan has seen method too many youngsters who’ve been severely injured in all-terrain automobile (ATV) accidents.

“My youngsters will not be allowed to journey in ATVs due to the horrific issues I’ve seen,” mentioned Marwan, who works at College of Missouri Well being Care in Columbia.

Each hour, 4 youngsters go to U.S. emergency rooms for accidents sustained in an ATV accident, whereas greater than 3,000 have been killed because of these accidents between 1982 and 2015, in response to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

To assist put a dent in these statistics and save lives, the AAP is stepping up efforts with a brand new report on ATV security and a coverage assertion warning dad and mom concerning the inherent risks of ATVs.

Launched within the mid-Nineteen Seventies, ATVs have three or 4 off-road tires, throttle and brakes on the handlebars, and a straddle seat. Outside fans journey ATVs on trails, fields and off-highway automobile parks.

In its new coverage assertion, the AAP advises youngsters to remain off ATVs.

“The primary advice is that youngsters below 16 shouldn’t journey or function an ATV,” mentioned examine creator Dr. Charles Jennissen. He’s a scientific professor of emergency medication on the College of Iowa Well being Care in Iowa Metropolis.

Analysis has instructed that the variety of accidents and deaths in youngsters involving ATVs elevated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, probably as a result of extra free time throughout shut-downs. If dad and mom do enable youngsters to journey on these automobiles, they need to implement the security guidelines, Jennissen mentioned.

“Most youngsters and teenagers on ATVs will not be following the principles similar to carrying a helmet, not using with a passenger, not using on a paved highway or using a automobile that isn’t youth-sized or not using at evening,” he mentioned.

Widespread ATV accidents embrace bumps, bruises, cuts, dislocations and fractures, however a rollover can result in trauma to the chest, stomach, head or backbone.

“Youngsters can actually fly off of ATVs and maintain blunt accidents to the top, chest or stomach, or be pinned by an ATV,” mentioned Marwan.

Greater than 90% of deaths and accidents amongst ATV riders youthful than 16 occurred in an adult-size automobile, the AAP famous. Youngsters simply do not have the bodily, psychological and cognitive wherewithal to function ATVs, particularly the bigger grownup fashions.

Round 60% of ATV deaths happen on public roadways, the AAP mentioned. These automobiles have a excessive heart of gravity, a slim observe and off-road tires that erratically seize paved or gravel roads.

Because of this it is essential to solely journey in age- and size-appropriate ATVs and keep off all public roads, the AAP acknowledged.

ATV security legal guidelines can differ by state and county. All states ought to mandate ATV hands-on security coaching and require age-appropriate operator licenses for teenagers. As well as, all ATVs ought to have a security flag to extend visibility.

There probably will not be standardized laws throughout the nation any time quickly.

“It is actually as much as dad and mom to implement security guidelines for their very own youngsters and develop a security tradition associated to ATV use,” Jennissen famous.

The brand new coverage assertion seems on-line Sept. 26 within the journal Pediatrics.

There are different methods for ATV riders to remain secure.

For starters, by no means enable youngsters below 6 on an ATV, Marwan burdened.

Keep off the highway at evening, he added. “Using at evening is very harmful as a result of you’ll be able to’t see the terrain and you could be on a highway shared with different automobiles,” Marwan mentioned.

For those who do let your youngster journey in an ATV, make sure that they’re carrying a helmet, Marwan burdened. “Head trauma is the No. 1 reason behind demise in these accidents, and this happens in youngsters who don’t have helmets,” he mentioned.

Along with helmets, riders want eye safety, boots, gloves, lengthy pants and a long-sleeved shirt, added Thaddeus Harrington, a public affairs specialist on the U.S. Client Product Security Fee.

“The risks of using off-highway automobiles are actual and embrace overturning, collisions and occupant ejection,” Harrington mentioned.

Ensure you or your youngster will get hands-on coaching from a professional teacher, he mentioned. And, “by no means journey with extra passengers than there are seats,” he warned.

One other good thought? Keep away from ingesting alcohol earlier than or whereas driving an ATV. “Alcohol can impair judgment and response time,” Harrington mentioned.

SOURCES: Rony Marwan, MD, pediatric surgeon, College of Missouri Well being Care, Columbia; Charles Jennissen, MD, scientific professor, emergency medication, College of Iowa Well being Care, Iowa Metropolis; Thaddeus Harrington, public affairs specialist, U.S. Client Product Security Fee, Bethesda, Md.; Pediatrics, Oct. 2022

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