Children’s Hospital Launches ATV Safety Education Program

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Submitted by Martin Koon, Extension Program Leader

UMC Reporter, 10/4/18, by Jessica Pasley

The Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program at Children’s Hospital is launching a new ATV safety initiative to arm high school students with information about ATV usage.

The Tennessee ATV Safety Program kicked off Friday, Sept. 28, with a daylong hospital session focused on giving students from six counties the necessary tools to support a yearlong campaign in their schools and communities.

According to Purnima Unni, MPH, Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention manager, ATV-related injuries are the third leading cause of trauma admissions for the hospital and accounted for 69 hospital admissions in 2017.

“Two common things we see with our ATV trauma patients — they are not wearing helmets and they are either carrying passengers or are a passenger themselves,” said Unni. “Both can result in serious injuries. Head injuries are the leading cause of death and disability in ATV-related crashes.

“It is our hope that through this peer-to-peer initiative we can foster an environment where students can help spread the known risk that these vehicles pose and encourage safe driving and riding practices among their peers in their communities.”

Funded by a grant through Farm Bureau Health Plans, the hospital is partnering with Tennessee 4-H, Tennessee Future Farmers of America (FFA) Association and the Tennessee Coalition for OHV Safety to implement the program in Bedford, Cannon, Clay, Giles, Robertson and Trousdale counties.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Surgeons the following safety measures are strongly recommended:

  • Children 16 and younger should not ride ATVs due to the high risk of injuries.
  • Always wear protective gear, especially a helmet.
  • Avoid driving ATVs with a passenger or riding as a passenger.
  • Do not drive ATVs on paved roads.
  • Do not permit children to drive or ride adult ATVs.

During the intensive hospital session, students will be involved in a mock trauma simulation in the Emergency Department and be assigned an “injury” from the rehabilitation team to help them better understand the risks ATVs pose.

The group will also discuss ATV awareness campaigns that can be explored within their schools and communities.

Pictures from the Kick-Off Event,

For the full article: UMC ATV Safety Ed Program