According to a media release from Shared Health, "an uptick in the number of pediatric patients suffering from serious trauma-related injuries in recent weeks caused by unsafe use of all-terrain vehicles has prompted a reminder to parents to ensure their children know how to ride safely and are wearing a helmet."
“We are currently treating children with a number of serious injuries sustained from unsafe or unsupervised ATV use, including spinal and skull fractures,” said Dr. Karen Gripp, medical director of HSC Children’s emergency department. “It is absolutely devastating for our care teams when they receive young patients that are seriously injured, particularly when it is the result of something that could have been easily prevented if they had been driving safely and wearing a helmet.”
The release says "Since mid-March, HSC Children’s emergency department has treated 20 patients under the age of 18 for ATV-related injuries, including fractures of the skull, spine, pelvis and jaw. Sixteen of 20 patients were believed to have not been wearing helmets at the time of the injury.
For fiscal year 2021/22, 176 children and youth were treated for ATV-related injuries, with about a third injured seriously enough to require admission to hospital.
In Manitoba, children under the age of 14 are not permitted to operate ATVs unless supervised, accompanied by and at all times within clear view of a parent or a person who is at least 18 years old and authorized by the parent. All riders must wear properly fastened safety helmets.
National statistics show more than a third of ATV-related deaths in Canada are children and youth under 16 years old despite accounting for a small fraction of overall ATV ridership."
“Summer is a great time of year when all of us should get outside and have fun. But there is nothing fun about visiting an emergency department,” said Gripp. “We encourage everyone operating an ATV to do so safely – and to wear a helmet every time.”