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American Academy of Pediatrics News

According to data released by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), estimated child deaths and serious injuries caused by all–terrain vehicles (ATV) increased slightly in 2015. Tragically, at least 58 children lost their lives, though this data collection is not considered complete, and 26,700 were injured seriously enough to require treatment in a hospital emergency department.

“Thousands of families every year suffer as a result of ATV deaths and serious injuries. ATVs are one of the most dangerous products CPSC regulates, causing more deaths and injuries than almost any other product under CPSC’s jurisdiction,” stated Rachel Weintraub, Legislative Director and General Counsel for the Consumer Federation of America. “Data indicates that injuries and deaths from ATVs have increased and much more must be done to prevent these serious and sometimes life altering incidents.”

“As a pediatrician, my number one job is to keep children safe and healthy. ATVs are not safe for children and should not be used by any child under the age of 16,” said Fernando Stein, MD, FAAP, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Children are not developmentally capable of operating these heavy, complex machines. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises all parents to protect their children by preventing them from driving or riding in an ATV.”

The CPSC released its 2015 Annual Report of ATV–Related Deaths and Injuries on January 23, 2017. Major findings include:

  • Estimates of serious injuries requiring emergency room treatment among people of all ages increased from 93,700 in 2014 to 97,200 in 2015.
  • The 2015 emergency department–treated injury estimate for all ages reflects an increase of 4 percent from the 2014 estimate, which is not statistically significant.
  • Between 2007 and 2015, there is an overall decrease of thirty–six percent of estimated numbers of emergency department–treated injuries for children younger than 16. This is statistically significant.
  • The estimated number of 4–wheel ATV–related fatalities for all ages increased from 657 in 2013 to 674 in 2014. The agency notes, however, that the 2013, 2014, and 2015 data are not considered complete and will likely increase.
  • In 2015, ATVs killed at least 58 children younger than 16, accounting for 17 percent of ATV fatalities. Fifty–five percent of children killed were younger than 12 years old in 2015. 2015 ATV fatality data is considered incomplete.
  • Children under age 16 suffered an estimated 26,700 serious injuries in 2015, an increase from 24,800 in 2014, which represented 28 percent of all injuries.
  • Children under age 12 suffered an estimated 13,400 serious injuries in 2015, an increase from 11,400 in 2014.
  • The 2015 emergency department–treated injury estimate for children younger than 16 years of age represents an 8 percent increase over the 2014 estimate, although this is not a statistically significant increase.
  • It is important to note that there is always a lag between the occurrence of ATV related deaths and the reports of those deaths making their way to the CPSC and therefore the 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 statistics should not be considered complete.
  • CFA tracks off–highway vehicle (OHV) deaths, including recreational off–highway vehicles (ROVs), and identified 616 in 2015. Of the 616 fatalities documented, it was possible to determine the vehicle type in 606, or 99% of those fatalities. Of those 606 fatalities, 85 or 14%, took place on an ROV – a significant amount of the total. CFA would like the CPSC to begin tracking all OHV deaths and injuries in one report.