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Safety Tips to Lessen ATV-related Injuries

by Rajashri on July 16, 2008 at 2:34 PM
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 Safety Tips to Lessen ATV-related Injuries

Plastic surgeons have advised people to be more cautious and follow safety tips to help reduce the incidence of devastating injuries even as the number of ATV-related injuries in children are on the rise.

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have been popular among adults and kids enjoying their vacations, but this fun can turn into a nightmare if safety is overlooked. They can go more than 60 miles per hour, weigh more than 700 pounds and tip over easily.

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"Each year, plastic surgeons treat thousands of patients with severe head trauma, eye injuries, disfiguring lacerations and facial fractures from ATV accidents. These debilitating injuries may be avoided by following a few safety tips," said Dr Andrew Wexler, president, the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons.

Plastic surgeons strongly recommend following the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety tips for ATV riders.

The guidelines suggest that before hopping on to an ATV an individual has to be properly trained.
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Since many ATV injuries are head injuries it is necessary to wear a helmet it is also necessary to wear closed toed shoes, goggles, gloves, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts to protect against cuts.

"When it comes to protective gear, it's especially important to wear a helmet, since many ATV-related injuries involve trauma to the head and face," said ASPS President Dr Richard D'Amico.

"Studies show helmets can reduce non-fatal head injuries by 64 percent and deaths by 42 percent," he added.

"ATVs can be treacherous and difficult to steer. They are not like riding a bicycle," said Dr. Wexler. "The injuries we see from these machines can be devastating."

Children under 16 should never ride adult-sized ATVs. They should only use ATVs that are appropriate for their age. Most injuries occur when a child is driving or riding an adult-sized ATV.

Never ride tandem as most ATVs are designed for one person; a passenger can make it difficult for drivers to control the machine.

Avoid pavements; collisions with cars and other vehicles can be deadly.

"ATVs can be treacherous and difficult to steer. They are not like riding a bicycle," said Dr. Wexler. "The injuries we see from these machines can be devastating."

Source: ANI
RAS/L
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