Child ATV Injuries in N.S. Down (or Maybe Not)
A pediatric surgeon at the IWK Health Center, Dr. Natalie Yanchar recently completed a study comparing ATV related hospitalizations in the province for three years before Nova Scotia introduced restrictions on children driving ATVs and the three years since the legislation was put into place.
According to Dr. Yanchar’s study, ATV related hospitalizations dropped 38% since the new legislation was put in place and severe ATV related injuries dropped 75%.
In 2005 Nova Scotia enacted legislation requiring mandatory safety training for children. The legislation also prohibits children under the age of 14 from riding ATVs unless they are on closed courses. 14 and 15 year olds are able to ride ATVs while under parental supervision.
However, according to a report by CBC News, the ATV industry claims that the rate of injury has actually increased. The ATV industry claims that the number of ATV users has declined since the legislation was introduced. Therefore, the rate of injury has increased. However, the industry has not presented any statistics to back up their claims.
I have seen firsthand the debilitating injuries caused to young children as a result of ATV accidents. I supported Nova Scotia’s ATV legislation (and still do).
I think Dr. Yanchar’s study confirms what common sense says. The more training and supervision children receive in the use of ATVs the fewer injuries to children.