Children learn about ATV safety and how to prevent injury - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Children learn about ATV safety and how to prevent injury

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

The folks at Memorial Hospital are on a mission to lower that number of injuries and deaths from ATV accidents. According to atvsafety.gov hundreds of people die every year in Mississippi from ATV related accidents.

Hundreds of children and their parents lined up hours before the fair even opened, anxious to learn how to be safe on ATV's and of course the free helmet was a big draw.

Nurse Stephanie Guirola educated those who came out about brain and spinal chord injuries, two of the most prevalent injuries sustained in ATV accidents.

"I know they want to have fun but they are not going to be having fun when they are injured, that's the most important thing that they be safe first," Guirola said.

After opening their eyes to the serious and even deadly injuries, children learned how to prevent them from wearing the right safety gear, to checking your ATV before riding it and how to properly steer.

Zach Butler with Competition Sports said, "It really makes me feel good to see this turnout because they are getting good information and at the same time they are seeing adults do the same thing as far as sitting through a safety course and understanding and actually putting it to good use."

While it may be more cost affective children and their parents learned that passing down helmets is not always safe, if the helmet does not fit properly it may not work properly.

Heather Sudduth with Memorial Hospital's Think First Program said, "ATV helmets are very expensive and I think that's why a lot of people do not use them, because they invest in the machine and then it's like oh I need a helmet too, but they may not have the extra funds for that, so we are able to provide them to them free of cost."

The hope is that the children leave armed with the knowledge and correct safety gear so they will not be making a trip to see the volunteers at the hospital.

Guirola said, "It's always so upsetting when we have the children coming into the hospital no matter what age, we have young adults too, but hopefully we can prevent this from happening."

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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