ATV's for Kids

All-terrain vehicles have been described as big toys, big fun and big thrills. Many go up to 60 miles per hour and can weigh close to 600 pounds. Some states allow children as young as eight years old to operate ATV's. If used improperly, all-terrain vehicles can cause serious injuries. In new print and radio public service announcements, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association have shed light on these dangerous vehicles by joining forces to help Americans prevent ATV-related injuries among children and adults.

Featuring a muddy ATV surrounded by doctors in an emergency room, the ATV PSA, is one of five print ads produced by the AAOS in a new yearlong multimedia public service campaign. Combining print, radio and a television spot, the campaign seeks to educate the public on a variety of timely musculoskeletal topics. The ads will appear in major consumer magazines, daily newspapers, cable and network television stations and radio programs nationwide. The print ads will also appear at select airports throughout the country.

Statistics show relevance:

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, 136,000 ATV-related injuries were treated in hospitals and doctors' offices in 2004.

One-third of the injuries- approximately 45,000 - happened to children under 16 years old.

Children often lack the physical strength, cognitive abilities and fine motor skills to operate such fast machinery and it is critical for them to realize ATV's should not be used for play.

When ATV-related accidents do occur, many Americans turn to orthopaedic trauma surgeons for help:

"ATV's are becoming a popular form of recreation, especially among children," stated Jeffrey Sawyer, pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and fellow of AAOS. "It is important for riders to be aware of the dangers associated with them and remember to put safety first."

"ATV injuries can not only be traumatic, but life-threatening as well," adds Jeffrey Anglen, orthopaedic surgeon and president of the OTA. "This public service announcement aims to educate the adventurous ATV-rider about the potential hazards in order to reduce the number of injuries."