ADHD doubles injury risk in children: study

Birmingham, AL – Symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder double a child’s risk of serious injury, according to research released Sept. 13 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and boys are at even greater risk than girls.

The study – which focused on 4,745 fifth-graders with a mean age of 11 – defined a serious injury as one requiring medical attention. The risk of serious injury increased among children with more severe ADHD symptoms.

“Children with ADHD are impulsive, inattentive; they may not notice things because their mind is wandering, and they’re hyperactive so they’re always moving and getting into things,” said lead author David Schwebel.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that 5.4 million children between 4 and 17 years old have been diagnosed with ADHD. Injuries kill more 11-year-olds in the United States than all other causes combined, according to the study abstract.

Schwebel suggests that ADHD treatment, such as medication or seeing a psychologist, can help reduce symptoms and the corresponding risk of injury.

The study was published in the September issue of Academic Pediatrics.

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