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Children are highly vulnerable to serious injuries from the use of ATVs, also known as ATVs, according to a study published in the Open Access Journal BMJ Open.

The researchers say that awareness campaigns about the potential dangers associated with their use are urgently needed.

First developed in the 1960s as an agricultural vehicle, ATVs are widely used in the United States, and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimated that there were 10.7 million four-wheeled ATVs in use by 2012.

ATVs now have engines over 600cc/50hp, weigh over 600lbs and reach speeds over 100mph. The CPSC estimates that about 100,000 ATV-related injuries were treated in US emergency departments in 2013.

Although only 15% of ATV riders are children, they are estimated to account for more than 1 in 4 ATV-related injuries and deaths.

The researchers wanted to find out if ATV injuries are more serious than motorcycles and cars in a region of the US where ATVs are often used for both work and recreation – the Rio Grande Valley in the southernmost region of Texas.

They analyzed the severity of all injuries sustained by any of these three types of vehicles and treated at a regional trauma center between 2015 and August 2020. At the time of data collection, the hospital served 8 counties and approximately 1.7 million residents.

Severity of injuries was measured by Injury Severity Scale (ISS), Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and length of hospital stay.

Information was also collected on pre-existing medical conditions, as well as age, sex, ethnicity, drug use, and whether means of protection, such as seat belts and helmets, was worn at the time of the injury. Patients under the age of 14 were classified as children.

In the period from 2015 to August 2020, the trauma center treated 3,626 car injuries, 200 motorcycle injuries, and 116 ATV injuries, totaling 3,942.

Children made up just over 12% of the total sample, but accounted for 38% of ATV injuries, compared to nearly 12% of car injuries and 7% of motorcycle injuries. Men and boys made up just over half of all wounded; most patients were Hispanic.

Far more men/boys and children were injured by ATVs than by cars or motorcycles. The percentage of children admitted to the emergency room with ATV injuries is three times higher than with automobile injuries and five times higher than with motorcycle injuries.

Only 29 patients (0.74%) died as a result of their injuries, but those with quad injuries were also more likely to have open fractures, also known as compound fractures – an open wound or break in the skin near the fracture site. a bone

“Most open fractures and soft tissue injuries require multiple interventions to reduce the risk of infection and may require multiple surgical specialties such as plastic surgeons and vascular surgeons to treat the patient,” the researchers note.

Moreover, there was no statistical difference the severity of the injury between different sources of injury, even though ATVs have a smaller engine and travel at lower speeds.

“There is strong evidence that ATV-related injuries continue to be a significant cause of injury among children,” they note.

“In contrast [cars], ATVs are open-air vehicles that do not protect the operator/passenger. This increases the likelihood of supporting more severe injuries and soft tissue damage even in low-velocity injuries,” they explain.

Patients who were under the influence at the time of injury were almost 4 times more likely to have more severe ISS scores than their matched counterparts.

Children who were not exposed at the time of injury and who used protective equipment had a shorter length of hospital stay than their matched counterparts after adjusting for gender and ethnicity. But only 4% of ATV-injured patients were wearing helmets at the time of the incident, compared to half of motorcycle-injured patients.

In 1988, the CPSC banned the sale of three-wheeled ATVs for 10 years due to crash injuries. But since the ban ended, production of more powerful ATVs has skyrocketed, with a corresponding rise in ATV-related injuries, especially among children and young adultsresearchers note.

They conclude: “Without mandatory safety standards, the sale and use of four-wheeled ATVs and ATVs remain loosely regulated.

“Awareness campaigns are needed to raise awareness of ATV-related injuries, especially among children. A concerted effort to highlight the vulnerability of young riders and the importance of safety equipment is a vital step in reducing ATV-related injuries.”

12 Safety Tips to Reduce ATV Injuries

Additional information:
A comparative analysis of ATV, motorcycle, and car-related injuries in a rural US frontier community. BMJ Open (2022). DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-054289

Citation: Children very vulnerable to severe injury from quad (2022, October 27) Retrieved October 27, 2022 from .html

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