Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Home / News and Events / News Releases / Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt Offers Tips to Keep ATV Riders Safe
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Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt Offers Tips to Keep ATV Riders Safe
 
May 18, 2015
Media Contact:
Ashley Culver
(615) 322-4747
ashley.culver@vanderbilt.edu

Many children and their parents will spend the summer months outside enjoying warmer weather and summer activities.  But as temperatures go up, the reported number of all-terrain vehicle (ATV)-related incidents also increases.  Health care professionals at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt want to offer a reminder that safety comes first.

From 1982 through 2013, The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 3,023 ATV-related deaths of children younger than 16 years of age. Of the 3,023 reported, 1,303 (43 percent) were younger than 12.

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt has seen four patients from ATV-related accidents in the last two weeks.

“Our biggest concern is that in the majority of these cases the child is not wearing a helmet,” said Purnima Unni, Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program Manager. “Many ATV injuries are head injuries. Wearing a helmet may reduce the severity of these injuries.”

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.

Children’s Hospital fully supports recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS) 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:

  • Always wear protective gear – especially a helmet – when riding ATVs. Head injuries are by far the leading cause of death and disability related to ATV crashes. Helmets are known to reduce head injuries by 85 percent. Wear a motorcycle or motorized sports helmet and make sure it is certified by the U.S. Department of Transportation or the Snell Memorial Foundation. 
  • Avoid driving ATVs with a passenger or riding as a passenger. The majority of ATVs are designed to carry only one person.
  • Take a hands-on safety training course if one is available in your area. 
  • Do not drive ATVs on paved roads because they are difficult to control. Collisions with cars and other vehicles can be deadly. 
  • Do not permit children to drive or ride on adult ATVs. Children are involved in about one-third of all ATV-related deaths and hospital emergency room injuries. Most of these deaths and injuries occur when a child is driving or riding on an adult ATV.

For more information on ATV safety and the Tennessee Coalition on ATV Safety, visit http://www.childrenshospital.vanderbilt.org/atvsafety.

 
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