For many Texans, ATVs are a way of life—used not only for recreation but for work on the farm or ranch. What many people don’t realize is that injuries from all-terrain vehicles caused 50 hospital admissions in 2016. Children should always wear proper safety equipment including a helmet. They should also ride the vehicle that is most appropriate for their age.
“Parents need to remember ATVs are not designed with children in mind. While they initially appear to be a fun source of entertainment, riding ATVs can quickly turn into a dangerous situation and we want to help prevent a traumatic injury from occurring,” says Marisa Abbe, Manager of Injury Prevention at Children’s Health℠.
ATV riders can experience anything from roll-overs to wrecks, which can include serious and in some cases life-altering injuries like impalements, burns, broken bones or other internal trauma including brain damage. While the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children under 16 not ride or drive ATVs, Children’s Health understands that folks use them as a way of life in some places. Below are several safety tips to keep kids safe:
- Choose the right size for your child. Do not let your child ride an adult ATV.
- Kids 12 and under should ride 110cc ATVs
- Always wear an ATV helmet – both kids and parents
- Make sure to wear other appropriate gear such as boots, goggles, etc.
- Protect your arms, legs, and most importantly, your head
- Only one person should ride a 4-wheeler at a time
- This way you can make sure you drive it safely
- ATVs are meant to be ridden off road
- ATVs are hard to control on pavement because wheels can’t act the way they should, which can be dangerous
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