Study: Florida Children with ADHD Are at Greater Risk for Pedestrian Injury When Crossing the Street

by Carmen Dellutri on August 18, 2011


Florida pedestrian accident attorneyChildren who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are at greater risk of injury when crossing the street independently, according to a new study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics journal, Pediatrics.

Given this new information, parents whose children have ADHD may want to give them extra practice, or even delay when they allow their children to cross streets by themselves.

As detailed by Consumer Reports, the study examined 78 children, aged 7 to 10 years old. Of these, 39 were diagnosed with ADHD. The children stopped taking their ADHD medication 24 hours before participating in the study. They completed 10 simulated street crossings in a virtual environment lab, with an avatar that popped onto the screen as soon as the child stepped off the fake wooden “curb” in the lab. Although the children with ADHD stopped at the simulated intersection and looked both ways at the passing traffic, they chose to cross when there were smaller gaps between cars and had a shorter time to spare to reach the other end of the crosswalk.

“The important message for parents is that just because your child displays correct curb-side behaviors doesn’t mean that he’ll be able to cross a street by himself,” said Despina Stavrinos, Ph.D, lead author of the study, and assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Injury Control Research Center. “Executive function-- timing ability, managing impulsivity, planning—is a key player.”

As demonstrated by the study, children with ADHD have difficulty processing information, which may lead them to make poor decisions about when it’s actually safe to cross a street. Therefore, Florida parents should recognize that even if their child with ADHD looks left and right when crossing, they may still not be able to safely cross the street on their own.

To help gauge their child’s readiness, parents stand on a curb with their child and ask him to watch the oncoming traffic and say (not actually cross) when they would cross the street safely.

“The rules are not one size fits all when it comes to pedestrian safety and a child’s readiness, especially when a child has ADHD,” Dr. Stavrinos said.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Florida motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced injury attorneys for a free consultation. 

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