Injuries and Hospital Use in Children and Adolescents
Research indicates that children with ADHD are significantly more likely to be injured as pedestrians or while riding a bicycle, to receive head injuries, injure more than one part of the body, and be hospitalized for accidental poisoning. Children with ADHD may be admitted to intensive care units or have an injury result in disability more frequently than other children.
Children with ADHD appear to have significantly higher medical costs than children without ADHD. Health care costs for each child with ADHD may be more than twice as high as medical costs for children without ADHD.
The main traits of ADHD—inattention and impulsivity/hyperactivity—may place a person with ADHD at greater risk for certain types of accidents and injuries.
Further research is needed to understand what role ADHD symptoms play in the risk of injuries and other disorders that may occur with ADHD (comorbidities). For example, a young child with ADHD may not look for oncoming traffic while riding a bicycle or crossing the street, or may engage in high risk physical activity without thinking first of the possible consequences. For teenagers with ADHD who drive, traffic violations and motor vehicle accidents are a concern. Some research has found that drivers with ADHD have more traffic violations and accidents and may be nearly twice as likely to have their driver’s licenses suspended than those without ADHD.
Much of what is already known about injury prevention may be particularly useful for people with ADHD. See NCIPC for these and other injury prevention suggestions.