ATV's and Child Safety

Posted by Kenneth Poon on

All-terrain vehicles, more popularly known as ATVs, quads, and quad bikes, are one of the most famous forms of vehicle for recreational and activity purposes. Lately, ATVs are not only made for adults; one of the latest crazes trending are electric all-terrain vehicles for kids. This time, the fun that adults experience as they pack on the adventure can be experienced by kids as young at 3 years old. These mini quads are toys that are built for kids. When used correctly they offer hours of outdoor family fun for kids up to 8 years of age.

To keep your little ones safe on a four-wheelers for children here are some things you need to know.

JUST FOR KIDS

All-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, are motorized machines that are used for off-road recreational activities. If you are a lover of adventure, you will absolutely fall in love with the versatility of these 4 wheelers vehicle. Even more exciting is that ATV are now made for all ages, shapes and sizes. Kids can start out early with these mini kids ATV toys. What a better way to  share some adventure-packed memories with your kids that will definitely be remembered by them even when they're old.

The Dangers 

1.) Falling off the vehicle

Electric ATVs are built for heavy duty action. These vehicles come in huge sizes, even double the weight of the child driver riding it. Some can even weigh up to 300 kgs. Since it can be quite heavy, one of the most common accidents that happen with kids and ATVs are kids falling off the vehicle. These results to broken arms and ankles, and often serious head injuries. That is why children below 15 years old are discouraged to use heavy-duty all-terrain vehicles.

2.) Collisions

If your teen or your kid is going on ATV rides with fellow quad bike lover friends, one of the possible dangers that can come with this is a collision. Let us remember that kids can be very rowdy (especially when they are excited) that they miss taking into consideration their safety. ATV collisions are one of the most common sources of accidents in the United States. Collisions, especially when extreme, can bring about very dangerous and critical consequences. 

3.) Control Loss

Another common mishap that could happen when kids operate ATVs is the loss of control. Aside from the ATV being really heavy, kids who don't have experience with maneuvering a huge vehicle are very susceptible to control loss. Aside from the fact that the controls can be quite complicated for some kids, panic is also a huge culprit to accidents like these. 

4.) Rollovers

Connected to control loss, rollovers are also a very common ATV mishap. Perhaps one of the most common one especially when teenagers drive around muddy and sandy places. Rollovers can cause serious bone injuries. Extreme care should be taken to avoid unfortunate accidents such as this one to happen to your kids.

Teenagers 

The Statistics

The dangers that accompany ATV for kids are not made by imagination only; statistics can surely back it up. Yes, it is true that the tumbles, rolls, falls, and the unpredictable terrains offer a unique sense of excitement to adult fans of ATVs, however, it is a different story when it comes to kids and their electronic quad bikes, especially when child safety is concerned. In Arizona alone, an estimated 1223 child injuries related to this vehicle were reported. Unfortunately, this is not all. 74 deaths have been reported from the state of Arizona, all originating from ATV accidents. Statistical reports such as these can be alarming to parents.

How to Prevent

It's true that the dangers that come with all-terrain vehicles for kids can be daunting. However, would you allow these possibilities to prevent your child from enjoying the adventures that only a quad bike for kids can bring? Of course not! News flash: the safety of your kids lie entirely on your hands. You can make a way to prevent these accidents from happening whether they be very young or old enough to drive their own car. Precautions and safety reminders are important. Here are some things you can do to ensure safety while not taking away enjoyment from your kids.

Grade School 

Kids of this age group, as much as possible, should not be allowed to be near an ATV especially when they're not accompanied by adults. Kids of this age are mostly unfocused, yet, they love to discover things and go extremes. If you let them drive an all-terrain vehicle, they can get pretty impulsive and that can result in serious injuries. When they are kids below 16 years old, at all cost, keep them safe and away from an ATV. Unless there's a parent or guardian who'll guide them along the way.

Young Teenagers

Although you can allow your young teens to drive an ATV, still take caution. Compared to kids of grade school age, teens know how to recognize the dangers faster. However, they may not react as fast as an older teen can. When it comes to body coordination, teenagers have more capabilities than younger kids. However, these motor skills are not yet that developed and the vision to operate a vehicle is not yet well defined. Generally, kids from this age group can maneuver electric all-terrain vehicles for kids, but the danger is still there especially when they come to a confusing terrain or a visually challenging path. Teens 16 years old and below should stay away from heavy duty ATVs.

Older Teenagers

Teens beyond 16 years old are now able to manage risks and hazards more easily than the first two age groups. When it comes to body coordination and visual management, this age group is advanced than the rest. However, don't be too confident with allowing your child under this age group to just freely go around with a quad bike. Sometimes, when peer pressure enters, and when his or her sense of extreme adventure kick in, it could mean travel. Before giving him a go signal to operate an ATV, assess his or her level of care first. If you think he or she is sensible enough to drive around, give it a go. It's better to be sure than to have regrets later on. 

General Precautions You Can Take

If you are concerned with your kid's safety but don't want to rob them of the chances to enjoy the adventures of riding a kids ATV, here are some things to take into account to maximize safety.

 

1.)  Choose an ATV that fits your kids age range, weight and height.

2.) Follow the manufactures recommended age range and ensure you child is within the maximum weight range.

3.) Ensure children where suitable safety gear.

4.) Check the terrain first to ensure your kids are riding in a safe area. 

5.)  Always supervise underage riders.

6.) Most ATVs are made for one driver only. Remind your child, and always be on the lookout, to make sure he or she isn't carrying a passenger.

7.) Make sure your child is visible when riding. Flags, reflectors, and lights.

 

Risks are always in tandem with fun. However, these risks on child safety should not stop you and them from enjoying the thrill and fun that come with ATVs. To be more confident with operating one, know the risks, take some precautions, and always be on the lookout for your kid. It also pays to invest on good safety gears. Enjoy the ATV experience!


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