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Children more susceptible to ATV injuries: study

April 5, 2011

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Rosemont, IL – In recent years, the number of injuries related to all-terrain vehicles has risen sharply due to increased use and the production of faster, more powerful vehicles, according to a report published April 4.

Currently, approximately 9.5 million ATVs are in use, and more than 15,000 ATV-related injuries are reported each year. The majority of these injuries are caused by vehicle rollover, which is a particular danger for child riders, who often lack the strength and weight to stabilize an ATV. Although only 15 percent of ATV riders are children, they account for 27 percent of injuries and 28 percent of deaths associated with ATV use.

“These are motor vehicles, not toys, and parents should use the same guidelines they would when allowing their child to drive a car,” said lead author Jeffrey R. Sawyer, M.D. He added that if ATVs are going to be used by children, helmets, protective clothing and age-appropriate vehicles are essential to reducing the risk of injury.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

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