ATV riding can be a fantastic pastime for a child, and if they follow the proper safety precautions, it can be a safe one too. Many children and adults are injured from the end result of ATV accidents, and lots of these injuries are preventable when the riders had taken the proper safety precautions. Children are particularly vulnerable to injure themselves when riding an ATV because they do not have the skills and maturity level of an adult.
ATVs are powerful machines, and kids can have difficulty controlling them. This isn't to say that ATV's aren't acceptable for children, but children should follow some safety tips to reduce their chances of being injured while on their ATV.
Children should be taught the correct way to use an ATV before they are permitted to ride and should understand the safe way to operate one before they ride. They should know that an ATV is not a toy and can be very dangerous. Kids should be taught the right way to turn, brake, and how to control the ATV. Many places require a training course to be taken by minors, and it is a good idea if your area does not. These courses will teach your child how to safely ride an ATV and will give them experience handling one.
Wearing safety gear is the best way. Children should wear helmets and other safety gear, whether it is required by law or not. They should also wear goggles and gloves to protect their hands and eyes. Apparel is also important as pants and jackets will stop many scratches and abrasions in the event of a collapse. Children should not wear clothing when riding as it could be captured or pulled in the engine and cause injury.
Children should know places that are safe to ride and always ride with supervision. They should not be allowed to ride near roadways, train tracks, or on paved surfaces. Riding near cars is very dangerous and illegal in many areas. Riding on the pavement is also dangerous as ATV's are designed to run on dirt and can easily spin out of control on pavement or cement. Train tracks can also be toxic and cause an ATV to flip over or get stuck.
You need to know your child's skill, and they should ride at a rate and on terrain that is appropriate for their experience level. Accidents frequently occur when a child is riding faster than they should or on terrain that is too hard for them. Be certain that your child is experienced enough to handle the terrain and speed they are traveling.
Children shouldn't be allowed to take passengers since this is another practice that causes accidents. Passengers can divert a child driver and make the ATV more difficult. Children should also be involved in the upkeep of their ATV and should ride their ATV if it is in safe working condition. If children follow these safety rules, they should have a safe and fun time with their ATV.