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Study reveals severity of go-cart injuries

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. A Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center study of children who were hospitalized from motorized go-cart accidents found that the average hospital stay was almost five days and that more than half of children required at least one operation and almost a third required two or more operations.

"Many parents don't seem to be aware of the potential dangers of private go-karts," said David Cline, M.D., an emergency medicine specialist and one of the study researchers. "Many of these injuries were severe, and all children required follow-up care after they left the hospital."

The study results were presented today at the Radiological Society of North America meeting in Chicago by Annemarie Relyea-Chew, J.D., M.S., from the University of Washington in Seattle. Relyea-Chew and colleagues conducted the research while she was a graduate student at Wake Forest Baptist.

The information on go-cart injuries was part of a larger study of 160 children ages 16 and under who were admitted to the hospital from April 1998 to April 2003 as a result of injuries from all-terrain vehicles, go-carts, mini-bikes and golf carts. The remainder of the results will be published later.

While public go-cart tracks have safety restrictions, privately owned go-carts are largely unregulated. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 10,000 go-cart injuries to children 15 and younger occur each year.

"Unsupervised children have the potential to sustain serious injuries," said Cline, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

The researchers reviewed patients' medical records to learn more about their injuries. The 18 children injured on go-carts ranged in age from 2 years to almost 16 years the average age was 10.3 years.

Injuries were the result of collisions with stationary objects or moving vehicles or losing control of the go-cart and rolling over. Some childr
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Contact: Karen Richardson
krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu
336-716-4453
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
30-Nov-2005


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