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Johns Hopkins SPH: More Kids Are Crashing On ATVs

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) ―More and more children are crashing on all terrain vehicles (ATVs), resulting in head trauma and severe injuries. That’s the latest from a Johns Hopkins School of Public Health study.

Suzanne Collins
reports on the dangers.

They’re fast and furious, and videos posted to YouTube show that riding ATVs also attract daredevils who crash on camera over and over again.

But an ever growing number of children under 18 are being seriously injured.  A professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has published a study in “Trauma.”

ATV-related pediatric hospitalizations jumped 150 percent in just 9 years.

“ATVs now are much larger, much faster,” said Stephen Bowman, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. “We have ATVs that can go in excess of 70 mph that weigh up to 800 pounds.”

Thirty percent of the injuries involved traumatic brain injury. One case involved a child who was riding on the back of friends ATV that collided with a car while crossing a road.

“The bone shattered literally across the road,” said Mike Reese, ATV accident victim.

Another study on dirt trail accidents shows that ATV accidents are much more dangerous than those on two wheelers.  A study by Johns Hopkins hospital found that more people in ATV accidents were in intensive care and on a respirator.

The Academy of Pediatrics and College of Surgeons says no one under 16 should ride an ATV.

“Helmets are very effective at reducing the risk of traumatic brain injury,” Bowman said. “The problem is most people are not wearing helmets.”

Helmet laws don’t help much when most of the riding is off road out of a policeman’s view.

The All Terrain Vehicle Association says the report reflects the increased popularity of ATVs and it advocates safety training, supervision and helmets.

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