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MONDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- While riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) may seem like a fun activity for your child, too often it can end in a serious injury and a trip to the emergency room.
In fact, deaths and hospital visits related to ATV use have more than doubled in the past decade, and a new study reports that the most common injuries that youngsters sustain include serious injuries such as broken legs and arms, skull fractures, brain injuries and hemorrhages.
"Parents need to understand that ATVs are not toys. We tend to think short-term and believe that we're giving children a toy or some kind of entertainment with an ATV," said study lead author Dr. Chetan Shah, a radiology fellow at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock. "But, remember, a trip to the ER is in no way recreational."
According to statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 467 people died from ATV-related injuries in 2005. In 1995, that number was 200 people. In 2005, 136,700 Americans were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for ATV-related injuries, up from just 52,200 in 1995.
Because injuries and deaths from ATV use are rising so dramatically, Shah and his colleagues wanted to learn exactly who is getting injured and what types of injuries are occurring from ATV use.
For the past 10 years, the researchers have collected data on any child treated for an ATV accident in their Arkansas hospital. In that time, they've treated 455 children, ranging in age from 6 months to 19 years old. The average age of the ATV riders was just over 11. There were more injured boys (318) in the study than girls (137).
Six children died as a result of their injuries, and Shah said it's important to note that this study only included people who were brought to
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