ATV Riding: 7 Safety Tips to Follow
If you’re going to let your child ride an ATV, follow these 7 safety tips.
Numbers don’t lie: all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) aren’t toys for kids to ride.
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In the span between 2001-2010, more than 350,000 children under the age of 15 went to the ER with injuries riding ATVs.
Though a new study from the journal Pediatrics shows there was a decline in the number of ATV-related injuries to kids ages 15 and younger in 2010, ATV accidents among kids are still a serious problem.
Researchers found that the most common injuries resulting from ATV-related accidents were fractures, bruises, scrapes and cuts. But injuries can be far more serious and even fatal — 55 children died in ATV accidents in 2010.
Thomas Tallman, DO, did not take part in the study but is an emergency room physician at Cleveland Clinic and has seen the kinds of injuries that can be sustained in ATV accidents.
“These things can be pretty unstable, and you’re exposing your head and neck if these flip over and you’re not wearing a helmet,” says Dr. Tallman. “We’re talking about spinal cord and all kinds of other orthopaedic injuries.”
Dr. Tallman and the American Academy of Pediatrics have these suggestions for safer all-terrain vehicle use:
Dr. Tallman agrees that parents or responsible adults are the most important factor when it comes to ATV safety and kids. He says kids should always be supervised even if they have their driver’s license. They should never ride alone.
Ideally, Dr. Tallman urges parents to “ride with them every time, so you can make sure that they’ve got their helmets on and are going at a safe speed.”