Science

Study: Tasers Don't Cause Kids Long-Term Harm

According to a new study, doctors have found that the use of tasers to subdue adolescent suspects did not cause those kids any long-term harm. But if you keep digging, it turns out that it’s not quite that simple.

The findings of the Wake Forrest study, called “Conducted Electrical Weapon (TASER) Use Against Minors: A Shocking Analysis”, appear in this month’s issue of Pediatric Emergency Care. The researchers looked at 2026 cases in which police used tasers and found that 100 of those cases involved the use of high-voltage electroshock weapons on kids aged 13-17. According to Dr Alison R. Gardner, the tasers did no long-term harm. From the release:

“We were looking closely for increased risk of cardiac effects and bodily injuries because of the differing body size and build of adolescents, but there were no significant injuries reported for this age group,” said Gardner. “There were 20 mild injuries recorded and the majority of these were expected superficial puncture wounds from the weapons’ probes.”

The researchers caution that the adolescent suspects involved were on average 16 years old and weighed 76kg, which means the data is actually skewed towards people with adult physiology. We sure hope the police read that fine print, because we’d hate to see some not-quite-so-adult kid get seriously injured. [Newswise via Pediatric Emergency Care via Twitter]