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).

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“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.

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  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