ATV injuries occur despite preventive endeavors
Though Gov. Mike Beebe declared April 2014 to be ATV Safety Awareness Month, four all-terrain vehicle (ATV) injuries have been reported by Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center during the past three months. According to Vickie Morris, trauma coordinator at Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center, four cases of ATV-related injuries were treated in March, April and thus far in June. "This includes three adults and one child," Morris said. "Three had head injuries and had to be transferred to a higher level of care." Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) admitted 81 children, ages 2-17 years old, with ATV-related injuries in 2013. According to the Children's Safety Network, children under the age of 16 are four times more likely to sustain ATV-related injuries that require a visit to the emergency department than riders 16 and older. To combat these injuries, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no one under the age of 16 ride or operate an ATV. The ACH Prevention Center recommends children who ride or operate ATVs wear helmets and not ride adult-sized ATVs. The center also suggests hands-on training on how to operate an ATV safely and correctly. Training is offered for free by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. More information about ATV safety can be accessed by calling the ACH Injury Prevention Center at (866) 611-3445.