ATV crash injuries can be serious for children

The number of ATV accidents is on the decline, but the impact just one can cause is life changing , experts say.
September 17, 2013 1:25:08 PM PDT
Between 2001 and 2010, 360,000 children went to the ER for injuries while riding an all-terrain vehicle. But the number of children injured is beginning to drop. A new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that may be related to the recession. But even one ATV crash can be life changing for a child.

Nine-year-old Jadyn Eberly has seen a lot of doctors since her ATV crash last Thanksgiving. It's taken quite a few surgeries to repair a broken leg.

"They'd say time for surgery and my mind would be off it, and I'd say, 'Oh no!'" she said.

After nine months of skin grafts, and physical therapy she just needs one more surgery. Jadyn clearly remembers the accident. She was driving the ATV, and she broke a family rule; she drove up a hill. The ATV slid backwards and turned over, landing on her leg and injuring her friend riding with her.

"I really learned the hard way, it really scared me. I was knocked out for seven minutes. We both did, 'cause she hit her head; she didn't have a helmet on, my friend. Then we woke, I was just screaming," Jadyn said.

"We had rules: she always wears her helmet, she knew to always stay on flat ground, away from trees, away from water, no hills," Jadyn's mother, Kim Eberly said.

Jayden was airlifted to Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital and faces one last surgery to remove the metal plate that helped her broken leg heal. But Jadyn was actually lucky. Doctors treat people hurt much worse.

"Simple fractures all the way up to mangled extremities. We probably do at least one or two amputations per week related to motorcycles, ATVs, all terrain vehicles," said Dr. Tim Achor, a UTHealth orthopedic surgeon at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

Then there are head injuries, paralysis and infections.

"We don't know if she landed in cow manure, dirt or gravel," Achor said.

And Jadyn knows people can die on an ATV.

"If somebody said, 'Hey you want to go ride an ATV,' what would you tell them?" we asked Jayden.

"No," she said.

And mom and dad would agree.

Find Christi on Facebook at ABC13-Christi Myers or on Twitter at @ChristiMyers13


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