Skip to content

Children's Health

Font Size
A
A
A

Kids May Not Handle Motorbikes Safely

Best to Wait Until Kids Get Driver's Licenses, Say Researchers
By
WebMD Health News

March 8, 2005 -- It's time to put the brakes on kids riding motorbikes, say three Ohio doctors.

"Children should not operate motorbikes until they are old enough to obtain a motor vehicle driver's license, which occurs at a minimum of 16 years of age," write Wendy Pomerantz, MD, MS, and colleagues.

The doctors don't blame the bikes. Instead, they question whether kids can handle the horsepower, and they want children to wear helmets whenever they ride.

Motorbikes, including motorcycles and dirt bikes, are becoming increasingly common, the researchers say. Although a license is required to drive a car, a child can drive a motorbike without a license.

Just about everyone agrees that helmets can save lives. It's a basic safety rule recommended by virtually every industry, safety, and medical expert. Wear a helmet every time you ride. Whether you're on a bike, motorcycle, or horse, helmets are invaluable if you fall.

But a lot of young motorbike riders don't do that, the doctors found.

Motorbike Accidents Rising

The researchers studied a snapshot of motorbike accidents among 182 Ohio children from 1995-2001. The number rose by about 50% during that time.

One child died, and eight required rehabilitation. Nearly seven out of 10 of injured riders sustained multiple injuries. Riders not wearing helmets had more serious injuries.

The data came from six Ohio hospitals. The numbers only include riders younger than 16 who were admitted to the hospitals. Those treated and released from emergency rooms, urgent care centers, and doctors' offices weren't included.

The statistics cover accidents on motorbikes (motorized minibikes, minicycles, trail bikes, mopeds, and motorcycles). The figures appear in the March issue of Pediatrics.

Most Common Motorbike Injuries

The most commonly injured body parts were:

  • Lower extremities (23%)
  • Head (22%)
  • Abdomen/pelvis (13%)
  • Upper extremities (12%)
  • Face (12%)

The most common injuries were:

  • Fractures (37%)
  • Abrasions/contusions (24%)
  • Lacerations (13%)
  • Intracranial injuries (8%)
  • Abdominal organ injuries (8%)

Most Injured: Urban White Boys

Almost 90% of kids and teens hurt in motorbike accidents were white boys.

The injured riders were about 11 years old, on average. Sixty percent of the accidents happened from May through June -- something to keep in mind as warmer months arrive.

The injuries didn't all happen off-road. Nearly 36% took place on the streets, according to the 152 cases reporting accident locations.

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
 
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.
 

worried kid
fitArticle
jennifer aniston
Slideshow
 
Measles virus
Article
teen texting
Article
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool