Alarming number of kids seriously hurt on ATVs over last 2 weeks

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – An alarming number of children were seriously hurt in ATV wrecks over the last two weeks.

In all, eight people suffered brain injuries, and they were ages three to 15 years old.

Dr. Oscar Guillamondegui is the trauma medical director at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

He treated some of the children who suffered brain injuries and told News 2 seven of the eight children who were seriously hurt were not wearing helmets.

“Unfortunately, our motorcycle helmet laws don’t include ATVs, and children end up with more severe injuries that are related to the brain than those who are wearing helmets,” said Dr. Guillamondegui.

Dr. Oscar Guillamondegui (Photo: WKRN)

As we reported earlier this month, Wylan Watson of Oak Grove was killed in an ATV wreck. Watson was thrown from vehicle and suffered injuries to his head. He was just 10 years old.

“The problem with an ATV is that you are riding along, and you hit something and there is no protection and you immediately fly, like superman, and when you hit the tree or the ground, the first things to hit are your hands and then your head, and that is why you end up with such severe injuries,” explained Oscar Guillamondegui.

“If you are going to be on a four wheeler, make sure you are wearing a helmet at all times. We, as a hospital, do stress the fact that if you are 16 or younger, you shouldn’t be on a four wheeler in the first place. That is the American Academy of Pediatric recommendation,” said Purnima Unni, Vanderbilt’s injury prevention manager.

In addition to the eight children who were seriously hurt, 20 adults have been injured in ATV wrecks since January. This past Sunday, a 21-year-old woman was killed.