In a nationwide study, a team from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia investigated golf cart-related injuries in children and teens. Over the nearly 10-year study period, the researchers found a total of 63,501 injuries in children and adolescents caused by golf carts, with a steady increase every year.
They also found that the number of injuries has risen to more than 6,500 each year in recent years, with just over half of the injuries in those 12 and under.
A growing risk
Over the past decade, motorized golf carts have become increasingly popular and are more available for recreational use at a variety of events. Regulations vary from state to state, but many places allow children as young as 14 to use these vehicles with minimal supervision. Additionally, children riding golf carts driven by other people can be thrown and injured. or they could be seriously injured if a golf cart tips over.
Because of this worrying trend, the researchers determined that there was a need to expand on previous reports that explored golf cart injuries from previous periods and examine current injury patterns. In their new analysis, the researchers found:
- 50.8% of the injuries occurred in ages 0-12 with the mean age of the population of 11.75 years.
- The injuries occurred more frequently in men than in women.
- The most frequent injuries were superficial ones. Fractures and dislocations, which are more serious, were the second most common set of injuries.
- Most of the injuries occurred to the head and neck.
- Most of the injuries were not serious and most of the patients were treated and discharged from hospitals / healthcare facilities.
- School and sporting events were the most frequent places for injuries.