Study: Youth ATV injuries dropped between 2004 and 2010, but why?

Publish Date: 
Jul 2, 2013
By Holly J. Wagner

ATLANTA, Ga. – Emergency room visits for ATV-related injuries among children 15 years or younger declined between 2004 and 2010. But nobody related to the study is exactly sure why, and says the likely suspect may be the economy.

That’s the conclusion of a new study for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), just published in Pediatrics magazine.

Read the full study HERE

The authors examined data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for the years 2001 through 2010, analyzing them based on age group, gender, primary body part injured, diagnosis and hospital admissions.

They found that 361,161 youngsters were treated in emergency rooms for nonfatal ATV-related injuries over the 10 years. The injury rate peaked at 67 per 100,000 children in 2004, and slipped to 42 per 100,000 by 2010. ATV-related child deaths reached 184 in 2004 and declined to 94 by 2009 (data collection for 2010 is incomplete).

Children ages 11 through 15 accounted for two-thirds of the emergency room visits. Fractures accounted for 28 percent of ER visits and 48 percent of hospitalizations. And compared with ER visits for all injuries in the under-15 age group, those with ATV-related injuries were seven times more likely to be hospitalized.

But the authors speculate that the reduction in injuries is because fewer children were riding ATVs during these years. “To our knowledge, there have not been any ATV design changes that might have contributed to the observed trends,” they wrote. 

Dealernews has contacted the SVIA and is awaiting comment. The organization reportedly did not provide commentary for the CDC study.

Steps recommended for reducing injuries include use of helmets and other protective gear, not riding on pavement, riding single-rider only and taking safety courses to continue reducing injuries and the severity of injuries; the American Academy of Pediatrics still recommends banning ATV use for children younger than 15.