Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Study reveals severity of go-cart injuries


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 children were ejected from the go-cart and then struck by either another vehicle or the go-cart. Injuries included severe injuries to the face and neck from running into a wire fence, skull fractures and brain injuries from a collision or ejection, and injuries to the arms and legs from being run over.

In one case, a child had leg fractures when his leg and foot were caught between the cart frame and a tree. In another, the driver ran into the rear of a parked truck. Another plunged off an embankment onto concrete. Another child’s finger was nearly severed when the go-cart flipped and his hand was caught under the cart and wheel.

Five of those injured weren’t driving the go-cart, but were seated on the driver’s lap or standing on the frame and ejected. "Even in cases where there is an older driver, younger children are being injured when they are riding in someone’s lap or standing on the vehicle," said Cline.

He said the vehicles pose a variety of dangers, such as exposed gas tanks, machinery and engines and no protection for the head, arms and legs.

"With the exception of seat belts, none of the safety features that are built into cars are included on go-karts," Cline said.

It could not be determined whether four of the patients were wearing helmets. Ten of the remaining 14 patients (71 percent) were not wearing helmets.

Cline said children should not be allowed to operate the carts without adult supervision.

"Children lack the maturity to safely operate these vehicles without supervision," he said. "The dangers are magnified when no adult is present."

In addition, Cline said children should be at least 12 years old and weigh more than 80 pounds to operate go-carts and that in some cases even higher standards are advised.

"We don’t have enough data to say who is truly safe," he said.

In addition to Cline and Relyea-Chew, other researchers were Marta Heilburn, M.D., with Wake Forest Baptist and Felix Chew, M.D., now with the University of Washington.

Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>