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Study Reports that Kids Riding ATVs at High Risk of Injuries

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that 40,400 children were treated for ATV accident-related injuries at emergency rooms throughout the United States in 2005.

According to a study presented by Dr. Cheten Shah of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the injuries sustained by children on ATV’s can be potentially disabling. Dr. Shah presented the study’s findings at the annual Radiological Society of North America meeting.

500 children and teenagers that were injured in ATV accidents were examined as part of the study. Here are some of the findings:

• The number of ATV injuries doubled from 1998 to 2006.
• 208 out of the 500 children and teens examined for the study sustained bone fractures as a result of ATV accidents.
• Head injuries-66 bleeding in the brain injuries, 85 skull fractures, and 59 children with brain damage-were also common.
• 12 cases resulted in amputations.
• 6 children died (the study did not include children who died before arriving at a hospital)
• Some of these injuries resulted in permanent damage or disabilities.
• The eyes of two children were so badly damaged that they were removed.
• There were 5 spinal cord injuries and 21 spinal fractures.
• 70 kids sustained injuries to the liver, spleen, pancreas, or kidneys.
• 36 children sustained lung injuries.

The youngest child examined for the study was a 6-month-old who rode the ATV while his mother drove. The toddler sustained a thigh injury. The youngest driver, a 2-year-old, lost four toes. Another 2-year-old driver experienced severe brain hemorrhaging and now has a permanent disability.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that kids younger than 16 years of age not be allowed to operate or ride an ATV. Experts say children lack the coordination skills to operate an ATV safely. Supporters of ATV riding, however, claim that ATVs are safe for use by children if they wear the corrective protective gear and are supervised properly.

If your child was injured because of a defective or dangerous product, you may have grounds to file a products liability claim or lawsuit. The manufacturer of any product is required to warn users of any known hazards that can result in injury to death. “Failure to warn” can also be grounds for a products liability claim.

Experts: ATVs not safe for children, USA Today, November 26, 2007
Doctor warns ATVs not safe for children, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, December 3, 2007

Related Web Resources:

Massachusetts Recreational Vehicle Safety Laws

All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Safety, NSC.org
In Massachusetts, the personal injury law firm of Altman & Altman LLP represents the families of underage children who have been injured in accidents and because of defective or dangerous products. Contact Altman & Altman LLP to request a free consultation with one of our Massachusetts products liability lawyers.