U.S. ATV Injury Hospitalizations Shoot Up

BALTIMORE, Oct. 14 (UPI) — Hospitalizations for all-terrain vehicle injuries increased 150 percent in youth age 18 and younger from 1997 to 2006, U.S. researchers say.

A report by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore finds ATM injuries increased the most dramatically in the South and Midwest, and among teens ages 15 to 17.

Lead author Stephen M. Bowman says males ages 15-17 have the highest rates of ATV hospitalization but females ages 15-17 experienced the sharpest rise in ATV hospitalizations during the study time period, an increase of 250 percent.

“All-Terrain Vehicles are inherently dangerous to children,” Bowman says in a statement. “While manufacturers are required to label vehicles with engine sizes greater than 90cc as inappropriate for children younger than (16), our data indicate that a growing number of children are receiving serious injuries due to ATV use, suggesting that parents are unaware of these recommendations or are choosing to ignore them.”

The researchers analyzed hospital discharge data from the Kid’s Inpatient Database of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project and calculated Injury Severity Scores for each hospitalization.

The report is published in the Journal of Trauma.

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