Kids With ADHD More Likely To Be Hit By A Car

By , Columnist
Children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder have a greater chance of getting hit by cars due to being easily distracted, says a new study in the journal Pediatrics.

The study led by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham compared 79 children with ADHD with a control group of 39 participants in a laboratory using reality simulators. All of the children possessed a cognitive understanding of traffic safety and pedestrian rules, but the ADHD-afflicted children were more likely to walk into a small gap in traffic than their counterparts without ADHD, creating a higher risk of being hit by a car.

Authors of the study explained that at some point in the decision-making process things go awry because children with ADHD have an attention deficit. "I came in thinking that kids with ADHD probably won't look left and right before they cross, but they did display appropriate curbside behavior," said researcher Despina Stavrinos, PhD. "The big difference occurred in the outcome of cross."

The authors suggest that pediatricians should screen for ADHD symptoms and parents should consider spending extra time with children with ADHD before they walk into traffic.

National Mental Health America (NMHA) estimates 4.4 million school-age children and nine million adults in the U.S. have ADHD, a behavioral disorder marked by impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and inattention. In the former group the diagnosis may have been previously diagnosed as “being a child.” According to Jeffrey Freed, an educational therapist and consultant who works exclusively with ADD and gifted children, ADD and ADHD are often over-diagnosed and “virtually all children who are labeled ADD are right-brained, visual learners.”

Adult ADHD symptoms have occurred more frequently in recent years and the NMHA states that adults left untreated are twice as likely to be divorced or separated, are at greater risk for frequent personal injuries, and are four times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accidents that have nothing to do with ADHD-afflicted children.

Diagnosing ADHD in adults can be a bit more difficult as the disorder is often labeled by non-medical professionals as simply not wanting to focus or being too lazy to follow through with the completion of a task.

ADHD is a real medical diagnosis for children and adults and is the result of a chemical problem in the brain that negatively impacts an executive functioning. Adult ADHD can also be misdiagnosed with symptoms similar to bipolar disorder, being a predominately right-brained (non-linear) thinker, or attempting to cope with the increasing stress and anxiety associated with hectic 21st century schedules, such as interruption of short term memory when distracted by the Internet, battling a constant bombardment of media input, and interruption of short term memory when distracted by the Internet.

In fact, one study showed...

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Holly is a freelance writer and copy editor with a background in journalism and publishing. Like a grandmother's purse, she is about three decades old, worn around the edges and mostly full of crap.

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