It seems as though a child is killed or injured at least monthly in Ohio ATV accidents. Earlier this month, a 16-year old died after crashing his ATV into the back of another ATV. A 15-year old from Grand Rapids, Ohio died when he lost control of his ATV and hit a tree.
Sadly, in the 2010 Annual Report of ATV-Related Deaths and Injuries, the most recent version published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, statistics show that from 1982 to 2010, 2,775 children younger than 16 died in ATV accidents, and 1,184 were younger than 12. In Ohio, between 2008 and 2011, 82 children were lost to Ohio ATV accidents.
476 Percent Increase in Spinal Cord Injuries in Child ATV Accidents
Nationally, hundreds of children are killed in ATV accidents, and thousands more are injured each year. A disturbing statistic reported in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics is that the morbidity and mortality of children under the age of 18 in ATV accidents has gone up 240 percent since 1997. The report was written by surgeons from Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Tennessee after data from the Kids’ Inpatient Database showed a 476 percent increase in the number of children who suffer spinal injuries in ATV accidents.
Dr. Jeffrey R. Sawyer, Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee, Campbell Clinic Depart of Orthopaedic Surgery and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons spokesman for ATV injuries told Science Daily that “Parents need to know that ATVs are not toys but motor vehicles, which can weigh more than 500 pounds. Unlike motor vehicles they lack safety features such as airbags. If you wouldn’t let your 12-year-old drive the car then why would you let them operate an ATV? We all too frequently see children unnecessarily severely injured and killed on ATVs”
Ohio Child ATV Accidents Can Be Reduced Through Safety
Children under the age of 18 should never ride adult ATVs which are bigger and far more powerful then child-sized ATVs. All riders, adults and children, should always wear a helmet. Riders must be aware of their surroundings and understand how their ATV will respond to the terrain on which they are traveling. Too often, riders underestimate the power of their ATV and its ability to climb hills and maneuver on turns. Young riders should never carry passengers, and should only ride with adult supervision.
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