While respondents reported frequent use of safety equipment (77.6 percent) and wearing a helmet (65.9 percent) "frequently/sometimes" prior to the crash, only 36.7 percent were actually helmeted at the time of the crash. Post-injury, 59 percent of the respondents continued to ride, and there was no significant change in risk-taking behaviors including wearing helmets or safety gear, riding on paved roads, performing difficult maneuvers, and children continued to carry or ride as passengers on ATVs despite warning labels against doubling up.
Children under age 16 suffer nearly 40 percent of all ATV-related injuries and fatalities in the U.S. each year. Study author Rebeccah L. Brown M.D of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, called for mandatory safety courses and licensing and enforceable helmet legislation to reduce ATV injuries in children.
"Although ATVs have surged in popularity over the past several years, they pose significant dangers for children 16 and under who simply do not have the physical strength, cognitive skills, maturity or judgment to safely operate ATVs," said. "ATV manufacturer warning labels are largely ineffective, and ATV training is infrequently offered to ATV users, most of whom deem it unnecessary."
At the same meeting, AAP released a separate study claiming that ATV sellers are often willing to sell adult-sized vehicles when the intended user is younger than 16, despite a recent federal law barring sales of new adult ATVs for use by youngsters. Read about that here.
Posted by Holly Wagner