Since the pandemic began, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has handled about the same number of trauma cases involving kids as it did previously. But that doesn’t mean it has seen no change.
The mix of injuries that required treatment shifted in the spring as schools closed due to the spread of COVID-19.
The pediatric system found itself treating many more victims of trauma injuries involving bicycles, ATVs (all-terrain vehicles), golf carts, skateboards and dirt bikes, as children spending more time at home turned increasingly toward outdoor activities.
‘’Being out of school provided more opportunities’’ for such activities, Dr. Ashley Brouillette, a pediatric sports medicine physician at Children’s, said Monday. That led to a greater incidence of ATV and other small-vehicle accidents.
The number of kids transported by ambulance or admitted for such injuries more than doubled during April and May. Brouillette said she saw some bad fractures from these accidents.
She emphasizes safety when talking with children and their parents.
“If it has wheels and no doors, they should be wearing a helmet,’’ she said.
Sports injuries are now trending up, and other vehicle accidents leveling off, as schools restart and kids are again involved in sports, Brouillette added.
Bike accidents have also hit the adult population in Georgia during the pandemic.
Some major Georgia hospitals have reported an increase in trauma cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. These include hospitals in Atlanta, suburban Atlanta, Columbus and Albany.
Bike accidents have increased during that time, for adults as well as kids, hospital officials told GHN.