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by Ashley Culver | Wednesday, May. 22, 2013, 8:00 AM
Many children and their parents will spend Memorial Day weekend outside enjoying warmer weather and summer activities. But as temperatures go up, the reported number of all-terrain vehicle (ATV)-related incidents and deaths also increases. With many ATV trails opening on Memorial Day weekend, health care professionals at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt offer a reminder that safety comes first.
Four-wheeler injuries are a leading cause of trauma-related admissions to Children’s Hospital, where experts are urging adults and children who ride to follow all safety precautions.
Between January and April of 2013, Children’s Hospital saw 10 ATV-related trauma admissions. Six of these admissions were in April alone. Injuries to the head, face and abdomen, as well as orthopaedic injuries, are among the most common trauma seen.
Children are more prone to ATV injuries because of their lack of experience operating motorized vehicles, lack of psychomotor control and coordination, and lack of judgment that can result in risk-taking behavior and poor decision-making skills.
“We need to remember that ATVs are powerful machines,” said Purnima Unni, MPH, CHES, Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program Coordinator at Children’s Hospital. “The common causes of ATV-related admissions to our hospital are because the child was riding on an adult-sized ATV or was riding with a friend or behind a friend on the same ATV and was not wearing their helmet.”
“It is important to remember that if you and your child plan on riding four-wheelers, it is crucial that you take the appropriate safety precautions,” Unni added.
Children’s Hospital fully supports the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS) recommendations that children 16 and under should not ride ATVs due to the high risk of serious injuries. However, if parents plan to allow their child to ride an ATV despite the known risk that these vehicles pose to children, the following safety measures are strongly recommended:
To find a 4-H ATV RiderCourse nearest you, contact the Tennessee 4-H Program.
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ashley Culver, (615) 322-4747
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