Quad bike injuries case for concern

ON THE eve of the release of an initiative to rein in the number of injuries from quad bike  accidents, a trauma specialist says he has major concerns about the injuries he has documented since March this year at Orange hospital

“Our statistics are far too high,” said Orange Health Service director Dr Brian Burns.

“We have had 23 serious and critical injuries alone in the last eight months,” he said.

Dr Burns said infants as young as 20 months have been injured with the oldest patient 67.

“Among those injuries was a two-year-old who was thrown off the back while an adult was driving,” he said.

Dr Burns said people who are living on properties or allow people on to their land for recreational quad bike and pee wee bike riding need to take a serious look at safety procedures.

“Although I don’t have the statistics for pee wee bikes many of those injured aren’t wearing helmets,” he said.

Dr Burns said while there is a large variance in ages of the injured from 20 months to 67 it was overwhelmingly the 14 to 17 years age group that has shown up in his statistics as the age group where most injuries occur.

However he said parents of young children need to take particular care in ensuring their children wear helmets as a means of protection and parents need to think carefully about the circumstances in which they give or allow their children and teenagers to be on quad bikes and pee wees.

“The reality is that a child’s head is proportionately larger than their body so that is the point of impact and then of course the quad or bike falls on them causing the crush injuries,” he said.

“They can just simply be dangerous and particularly at the moment we are getting a lot of scrambler bike injuries as well,” he said.

Dr Burns said coming into the summer season emergency services are expecting an even higher statistic count for these type of injuries.

Earlier this year Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations  Bill Shorten released a discussion paper calling for a review of design and engineering controls for improving quad bike safety and the report is due for release tomorrow.

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