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ATV study to improve fit, safety among kids
Date:6/9/2008

The University of Kentucky is conducting a first-ever study of its kind to analyze all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety, particularly in children. UK trauma surgeon Dr. Andrew Bernard is the primary investigator of a comprehensive multi-year investigation which will measure a number of physical and behavioral issues accompanying pediatric ATV usage. The research will begin June 9 at the Wenner Gren Biomedical Research Facility on the UK campus.

One of the ways to improve ATV safety for children is to buy the proper size vehicle. Current recommendations for determining the right vehicle size are based upon age categories, 6-11, 12-15 or 16 and above. The problem with these categories is that each of these age groups can have a wide variability in the rider size.

"Since most children injured on ATVs are riding adult size vehicles, this study will attempt to determine the fit between a child and a vehicle that is adult-size," said Bernard. "It will also try to determine how often a youth in a certain age bracket is actually fitted with the wrong vehicle."

During the 2008 Memorial Day weekend, there were 13 ATV-related deaths nationally and four of those in Kentucky. It's an all too common headline in this state, which ranks third in the nation for ATV deaths.

The premise of the Phase I aspect of this unique study is that age is not the best indicator of how a child is properly fit to, and can safely use, an ATV. Thus, quantification of pediatric biometrics, or the measurement of physical characteristics, in ATV riders is the first goal of this research program. The resulting experimental procedure involves use of a custom-designed variable incline ramp that simulates riding an ATV over varying terrain. Video cameras will be focused on the child sitting on the ATV and will record a host of parameters, including arm reach, leg angle, head and trunk inclination. Grip reach and strength will also be quantified in an effort to determine h
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Contact: Amy Ratliff
amy.ratliff@uky.edu
859-323-6363
University of Kentucky
Source:Eurekalert

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