A new study epublished in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology confirmed that children with ADHD are at increased risk for breaking a bone. Does this mean that children with ADHD should be medicated for their own safety?
Far from it. While it seems that medication to calm hyperactivity and increase attention to dangerous situations would definitely be helpful in preventing injuries, no study has been done that has demonstrated that medication for ADHD decreases the risk for injury in children with ADHD. Until that study is done, we cannot assume it is necessarily safer to medicate children or adults with ADHD purely for the sake of fracture prevention.
Could brittle bones be a side effect of medication? Another study done in 2012 suggested that chronic exposure to methylphenidate caused bones to weaken in adolescent rats. No other studies have examined this effect further, but if the results hold true in humans, then medicating might actually increase the risk of fractures in those taking medication for ADHD.
In the meantime, the usual safety tips apply to kids with ADHD.
1) Always wear a helmet/protective equipment when riding something with wheels (skateboard, scooter, or bicycle).
2) Choose playgrounds that are safer for falls, such as those with wood chips or sand as a surface, instead of dirt or grass.
3) Regularly inspect play equipment and protective gear for safety.
4) Supervise your child at all times while at play.