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ATV Accidents in Children Most Often Result in Head, Neck Injuries

Study reveals need for improvement in preventative safety recommendations and restrictions

TUESDAY, Sept. 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Head and neck injuries as a result of all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accidents remain common among children, according to a study published Aug. 10 in Clinical Pediatrics.

Daniel Li, of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues studied head and neck injuries sustained from ATV accidents by 279,391 children younger than 18 years of age (median age of 12 years; 69.7 percent boys) who were treated in U.S. emergency departments during 1990 through 2014. The authors used data obtained from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

The researchers found that the most common types of ATV accidents resulting in head and neck injuries were rollovers (15.8 percent), crashes (18.8 percent), and ejections (30.0 percent). Concussions and closed head injuries were the most commonly sustained injuries (32.6 percent), as were fractures (also 32.6 percent). Injuries sustained by children between the ages of 12 and 17 years were more likely to occur on streets or highways (relative risk, 2.16), whereas children younger than 12 years were more likely to sustain injuries at their homes (relative risk, 1.82). The majority of children were able to be treated by the emergency department and released (84.2 percent), while 15.4 percent of injuries resulted in admittance to the hospital.

“Adoption of recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics, including requirement of a driver license, use of a helmet, prohibition of passengers, and not riding on public roads, would help prevent pediatric ATV-related injuries, including head and neck injuries,” the authors write.

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