HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – Alarmed at the rate of ATV accidents among Tennessee youngsters, a group of health and recreation professionals and concerned citizens has formed the Tennessee Coalition for ATV Safety.
The newly formed organization aims to prevent future injuries through an education and awareness campaign. The coalition met Wednesday at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, where doctors and nurses have treated many youth ATV accident victims. Tennessee ranks 7th among states for ATV-related injuries.
The hospital saw 28 children injured on ATVs in 2011, and 36 during the first 11 months of 2012. Nurse Barbara Shultz told the Nashville Tennessean the number will be close to 40 after December figures are added. There were no ATV-related deaths among children brought to the hospital.
“It’s really about putting the right kid on the right-sized vehicle and wearing safety equipment,” Shultz said. “Most of the kids that we see here at Children’s Hospital are not wearing helmets. If there is one thing we could encourage families to do, it would be to put a helmet on your kid and make sure it’s being used. The second thing is know what your land is. Make sure there aren’t fences they are running into or other things — holes they can hit and flip the vehicle.”
Other members of the coalition include the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Emergency Medical Services for Children, UT Extension, 4-H, Rural Health Association of Tennessee, Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center, The MED in Memphis, Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians, MTN Trail Riders Association and the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council.
The coalition also will work with adult riders.
Posted by Holly Wagner