There was an article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today regarding All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Safety and Children. It highlights Dr. Chetan C Shah's paper that he will be presenting later this week. Dr. Shah is a radiology fellow at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Children's Hospital. He has compiled a decade's worth of cases of injuries from ATV's involving children. He will present on Wednesday (December 5, 2007) at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting in Chicago. There are 500 cases include in his study which includes children admitted to ACH with ATV related injuries going back to 1998. More than two-thirds were boys. The average age was 11.5 yr.
The youngest rider was a 6-month-old who was riding with his mother and suffered a fractured thigh bone. The youngest driver was a 2-year-old on a mini ATV who had four toes amputated. There were six deaths, not including children who died at the scenes of accidents.
- Fractured limbs were found in 208 children--most commonly involving the legs.
- Head injuries --85 skull fractures, 66 cases of bleeding in the brain, and 59 brain injuries.
- Lung injuries were found in 36 children.
- Abdominal injuries were found in 70 children. These included injuries to the spleen, liver, kidneys, or pancreas.
- There were 12 amputations--including 9 partial foot amputation, one upper-limb amputation, and one below-the knee leg amputation.
- There were 2 eye socket injuries that were so bad the eyes had to be removed.
Dr. Shah hopes parents will hear about the findings and stop allowing children under 16 to ride ATVs. I support this stand.
In response, an ATV-makers association said in a statement that ATVs are safe for children if the safety guidelines are followed. They include:
Other sources for information on topic
ATV Safety--National AG Safety Database
ATV Safety Crisis--Consumer Federation
ATV Safety Tips -- Midwest Trail Riders Assoc
All terrain vehicles guidelines aimed at saving lives -- Land Transportation NZ