Pedestrian accidents in Alabama involving children happen all too often and there’s a new group of children on this high-risk list that are especially prone to these types of accidents — children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD-C ).
Recent research, provided by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, concludes that these individuals chose to cross roads and intersections in riskier situations than other children.
“Future efforts may focus on remediating executive deficits, which may, in turn, prevent pedestrian injuries in this at-risk population,” the researchers reported online ahead of the August issue of Pediatrics.
Our Birmingham pedestrian accident attorneys understand that child pedestrians are extremely vulnerable when walking, running or playing near motor vehicles. Young children often fail to understand the dangers that go with playing near traffic. Parents are urged to speak with their children about playing near streets and roadways and to supervise them at all times when playing outside.
“Children with ADHD-C seem to display appropriate curbside pedestrian behavior but fail to process perceived information adequately to permit crossing safely,” said Despina Stavrinos, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Throughout this University of Alabama at Birmingham study, researchers studied 78 children, ages 7 to 10, in a virtual environment. Half of the participants had ADHD-C and half had typical development. Most of the study’s participants were boys.
Parents of the children with ADHD all reported at least six inattentive and six hyperactivity/impulsive symptoms on the Disruptive Behavior Rating Scale. Participants that took medications for the condition were required to stop taking it for 24 hours before the study.
Researchers examined the children’s pedestrian behaviors using an interactive, virtual environment. They specifically looked at what the children did before, during and after crossing the street.
Children who had been diagnosed with ADHD-C typically chose less safe environments in which to cross than the other children.
“Crossing the street safely requires the ability to plan and to inhibit responses such as darting into the street under unsafe conditions, both abilities controlled by the executive system and shown as central impairments in children with ADHD-C,” the researchers wrote.
The study did focus on preventing these dangerous incidents though. Researchers noted that it is in fact possible for parents and guardians to intervene to prevent these potentially fatal accidents.
“Pediatricians can play an important role in preventing childhood pedestrian injuries by screening for ADHD symptoms in their patients and monitoring the children who are identified as at risk to reduce later risk for injury,” they wrote.
Tips for parents to protect child pedestrians:
-Never allow a child under age 10 to cross a street alone.
-Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
-Make sure that your child knows to cross 10 feet in front of a school bus. Make sure they never walk behind a bus and that they know to wait for adults on the same side of the street as the school bus’ loading or unloading zone.
-Teach your child never to run out into a street for any reason.
-Always follow traffic signals and crosswalks.
-Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
-Teach your child to look left, right and left again when crossing and to keep looking as they cross.
-Walk, do not run, across the street.
-Parents and kids should hold hands while crossing the street and in parking lots.
Kids With ADHD Accident Prone in Crosswalks, by Todd Neale, MedPage Today
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