THURSDAY, May 20, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Two-thirds of spinal fractures suffered by American children and teens occur in car accidents when they are not wearing seat belts, according to a new study.
The researchers analyzed data on more than 34,500 American patients under the age of 18 who suffered spinal fractures between 2009 and 2014. Adolescents aged 15 to 17 accounted for approximately 63% of fractures of the spine. spine, two-thirds of which occurred in motor vehicle accidents.
These findings show that around the years teens get their driver’s licenses, young drivers and passengers have the highest risk of spinal fractures in car accidents, according to the study’s authors published online recently in Spine magazine.
Researchers also found a strong link between not getting stuck in the car and increasing the risk of spinal fractures.
“Nearly two – thirds of pediatric spine fractures were suffered in [motor vehicle accidents] it occurred in children who did not wear belts, “Dr. Vishal Sarwahi of Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, and colleagues wrote in a newspaper press release.
The researchers noted that spine fractures in children and adolescents were associated with a 3% mortality rate, with many deaths in drivers and passengers unrestricted.
Another finding of the study was that the risk of serious or multiple injuries and deaths was more than double (almost 71%) when children and adolescents did not wear seat belts than when they did (29%).
Wearing seat belts was associated with lower rates of multiple spinal fractures, other types of fractures, as well as spinal fractures, head and brain injuries, and a more than 20% risk of accidental death. by car.
The researchers also found that 58% of young patients with spinal fractures were men and that spinal fractures were more common in the south (38%), probably because lack of public transportation leads to more vehicles on the road.
The percentages of U.S. drivers wearing seat belts have steadily increased over the years, but teens and young adults are less likely to use them, the study authors noted.
The findings highlight the need to take steps to increase seat belt use by younger drivers and passengers, such as specific approaches that use media and technology awareness campaigns, the researchers suggested.
“Ensuring new young drivers wear protective devices can significantly reduce associated morbidity / mortality [motor vehicle accidents] and can help save lives and thorns, ”the research team concluded.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has more information on seat belt use for older children and teens.
SOURCE: Spine, press release, May 14, 2021