Age Restrictions for Off-Road Vehicle Use Significantly Decreases Injury Rate

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During a 12-year study period, there was a reduction of 41% in inpatient hospital discharges for 0-17-year-olds.
During a 12-year study period, there was a reduction of 41% in inpatient hospital discharges for 0-17-year-olds.

HealthDay News — The population-based rate of off-road-vehicle (ORV)-related injuries was reduced following a 2010 Massachusetts law restricting their use by children aged younger than 14 years and regulating their use by children up to age 18 years, according to a study published online in Pediatrics.1

Michael R Flaherty, DO, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of Massachusetts emergency department and inpatient discharges between 2002 and 2013 by using external causes of injury codes specific for ORV-related injuries. The authors compared the yearly population-based rates before and after implementation of the law (2002 to 2010 vs 2011 to 2013).

The researchers found that across the 12-year study period, there were 3638 emergency department discharges and 481 inpatient discharges for ORV-related injuries in children. The rate of emergency department discharges decreased by 33%, 50%, and 39%, respectively, in 0- to 9-year-olds, 10- to 13-year-olds, and 14- to 17-year-olds after implementation of the law (P < .0001). No significant decreases in emergency department discharges were seen for 25- to 34-year-olds. After implementation, there was a reduction of 41% in inpatient hospital discharges for 0- to 17-year-olds (P < .001).

"As compared with adults (ages 25 to 34 years), the population-based ORV-related injury rate of residents <18 years old significantly declined after the passage of legislation that imposed age restrictions and other safeguards for youth riders," the authors write.

Reference

  1. Flaherty MR, Raybould T, Kelleher CM, et al. Age legislation and off-road vehicle injuries in children [published online September 11, 2017]. Pediatrics. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-1164

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