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CJEM. 2006 Jul;8(4):277-80.

All-terrain vehicle major injury patterns in children: a five-year review in Southwestern Ontario.

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  • 1Children's Hospital of Western Ontario, University of Western Ontario, London.



The aim of the study was to characterize the nature of the injuries sustained by children involved in all-terrain vehicle (ATV) crashes in Southwestern Ontario over a 5-year period.


A retrospective chart review was conducted of children who sustained ATV-related trauma and who presented to the emergency department at the Children's Hospital of Western Ontario between Sept. 1, 1998, and Aug. 31, 2003, with an Injury Severity Score (ISS) = 12. Patients were identified by the London Health Sciences Centre Trauma Program Registry. Patient charts were then retrieved and reviewed to record patient demographics, injuries, interventions and length of stay in hospital.


Seventeen patients, 14 male and 3 female, met inclusion criteria. Ages ranged from 8-17 years, with an average age of 13.7 years. Thirteen were <16 years of age. Overall there were 7 different systems injured in these 17 patients. Fourteen patients sustained an injury to more than 1 system. The average ISS was 22.8. The average length of hospital stay was 9.7 days. Six patients sustained significant head injuries; 4 of these 6 patients were not wearing helmets. Eight patients suffered splenic injuries, and 3 required a splenectomy. Thirteen patients sustained fractures.


ATV trauma is a significant threat to the children in Southwestern Ontario. These results clearly support the Canadian Paediatric Society's recommendation that children <16 years of age should be prohibited from operating or riding on ATVs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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