(HealthDay)—Nonfatal injuries among children and adolescents due to all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have declined since the mid-2000s, although boys have twice the injury rate as girls, according to research published online July 1 in Pediatrics.
Ruth A. Shults, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and Denver analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program from 2001 to 2010 to estimate the prevalence of nonfatal injuries associated with ATVs treated in hospital emergency departments among riders 15 years old and younger.
The researchers noted 361,161 injuries over this period. The injury rate fell from a peak of 67 per 100,000 in 2004 to 42 per 100,000 in 2010. Boys had double the annualized injury rate as girls (73 versus 37 per 100,000). Two-thirds of emergency department visits and hospitalizations were among children 11 to 15 years of age. Fractures comprised 28 percent of emergency department visits and 48 percent of hospitalizations.
"The reasons for the decline in ATV-related injuries among young riders are not well understood but might be related to the economic recession of the mid-2000s and decreased sales of new ATVs," Shults and colleagues write. "Broader use of known effective safety measures, including prohibiting children aged ?15 years from riding adult-sized ATVs, always wearing a helmet while riding, not riding on paved roads, and not riding as or carrying a passenger could additionally reduce ATV-related injuries among children."
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