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Many spinal cord injuries from crashes

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NEW YORK, Feb. 15 (UPI) Seventy percent of the 1,500 U.S. spinal cord injuries to minors result from vehicle accidents, and 68 percent were not wearing a seatbelt.

Our findings reinforce the need to educate teenagers on the importance of taking safety precautions when operating a Motor vehicle and the tragic consequences that can result from the irresponsible use of alcohol and drugs, says Dr. Michael G. Vitale, of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. The study, published in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics, also found that boys were more than twice as likely to experience spinal cord injuries as girls; African-Americans were at greater risk than whites; and Hispanics and especially Asians were at lower risk than whites.

Other common causes of pediatric spinal cord injuries include accidental fall at 14 percent, firearm injury at 9 percent and sports injury at 7 percent.

Alcohol and drugs were involved in 30 percent of all cases, according to the researchers.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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