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Children with ADHD more likely to be involved in car accidents

A child following a ball into the street can be a parent's worst nightmare. In order to put their child's safety above the path of the ball, parents teach their children to look both ways before they cross. A new study shows that children with ADHD are more likely to take risks and are more likely to be involved in car accidents when crossing the street than children without the attention disorder.

Children with ADHD are more likely to be hit by a car when crossing the street than children who do not have ADHD. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham compared 78 children with ADHD between the ages of 7 and 10 to 39 children without ADHD in the same age group. The researchers found that ADHD children followed rules like "look both ways before you cross the street" but did not apply the rules in such a manner that enabled them to cross the street as safely as the other children.

Children with ADHD took more risks than other children and choose to cross the street during short traffic gaps. The shorter traffic gaps lead to more accident occurrences. Real children did not cross traffic -filled streets during the research. Instead, computers were used to simulate a pedestrian environment and children decided when their character should cross the street.

Researchers discovered that children with ADHD were not as able to calculate the time it would take for a pedestrian to cross the street and the time it would take for a vehicle to enter the intersection. Researchers suggest children with ADHD just need additional practice to avoid car accidents in real life.

Source: time.healthland.com, "Are kids with ADHD more likely to get hit by a car?" Bonnie Rochman, 7/25/11

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