More than 350-thousand kids are hurt riding all-terrain vehicles each year. Now a new report in the journal “pediatrics” suggests that number is going down.
Dr. Tom Tallman, emergency room physician at Cleveland Clinic says, “You’re exposing your head and neck if these go over and you don’t have a helmet on. That includes spinal cord injuries. Otherwise, extremity injuries, an outstretched arm.“
Researchers found roughly 361-thousand ATV riders age 15 years and younger were treated in emergency rooms between 2004 and 2010. The most common injuries were fractures, bruises, scrapes, and cuts.
The injury rate peaked at 67 injuries per 100,000 children in 2004, but it dropped to 42 injuries per 100,000 kids in 2010.
Researchers say the reasons for the decrease are unclear, but practicing safety measures like wearing helmets and keeping kids under the age of 15 off of ATV’s are a good start.
Dr. Tallman says parents need to measure their child’s maturity and responsibility level before letting them ride, or even find a safety course they can take.
“Are you a parent that goes out and rides with them every time, so you’re making sure that they’ve got their helmet on and they’re going at a safe speed? They’re not doing reckless things like jumps.”