Press release from Riley Hospital for Children
(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Thrill-seekers looking to catch some air on all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) this season should take caution or they may get more than they bargained for. That’s the word from Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health where doctors are already seeing children with trauma from ATV accidents.
“We see this every year and the sad thing for us it that many of these injuries are preventable,” said Dr. Robert Collins, medical director of Emergency Services, Riley at IU Health. “I wish kids wouldn’t ride ATVs, but the fact is they do.”
From 1999–2009, Indiana University Health and Riley at IU Health treated 422 children younger than age 18 for ATV-related injuries. As seen in years past, males continue to sustain the most injuries at 73 percent. The following age groups represent the percentage of injuries:
Ages 1–4: 13 percent
Ages 5–9: 21 percent
Ages 10–14: 42 percent
Ages 15–17: 24 percent
“What’s concerning to us is the number of ATV injuries is holding steady and if anything, increasing slightly - particularly among very young children,” Collins said. “This means it’s imperative that both supervising adults and kids understand the importance of safe and responsible riding techniques - an ATV is only as capable as its rider.”
According to the ATV Safety Institute (ASI), 35 million riders operate more than 10 million ATVs across the country. Almost 90 percent of youth ATV accidents occur when a youth is operating an adult-sized ATV.
To help ensure a safe ride, Riley at IU Health and ASI recommend the following:
-Always wear a helmet and other protective gear.
-Never ride on public roads - another vehicle could hit you.
-Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
-Never carry a passenger on a single-rider vehicle.
-Ride an ATV that's right for your age.
-Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys.
-Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
-Take a training course. For more information, call (800) 887-2887 or visit www.atvsafety.org.