Re­duc­ing quad bike risks for farm kids

Balonne Beacon - - NEWS -

A UNITED States study pub­lished in the med­i­cal jour­nal Pe­di­atrics has re­vealed tougher quad bikes laws can re­sult in sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tions in child hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions and emer­gency depart­ment vis­its.

The study looked at the im­pact of “Sean’s Law”, in­tro­duced in 2010 in the state of Mas­sachusetts, which re­stricted the use of quad bikes by chil­dren less than 14 years and put other steps in place for those aged 14–18 years.

“This study pro­vides strong sup­port for Aus­tralian ef­forts to min­imise deaths and in­juries to chil­dren,” said Dr Tony Lower from the Aus­tralian Cen­tre for Agri­cul­tural Health and Safety.

“Farm kids are even more highly ex­posed, with 75% of all child quad-re­lated deaths in Aus­tralia oc­cur­ring on farms, with the ma­jor­ity of these be­ing kids that re­side on prop­er­ties.

“Of course we want to de­velop in our kids a love of the land and all things agri­cul­tural, so put them on a two-wheeler, make sure it’s the right size for them, that they have a hel­met and other pro­tec­tive gear and are trained and su­per­vised.

“Yes they may still have an in­ci­dent, but the chances of se­ri­ous in­jury or worse are far less, as two-wheel­ers don’t crush or as­phyx­i­ate riders when they roll.”

A range of ma­te­ri­als to as­sist those who work and live on farms is avail­able from the Aus­tralian Cen­tre for Agri­cul­tural Health and Safety web­site at http://syd­ney.edu.au/ medicine/aghealth.

Al­ter­na­tively, phone 02 6882 1486 for in­for­ma­tion.

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