Tips For Safety Of Youth
ATVs can be a great way to spend time with your child. If you both take the proper precautions, it can be safe as well. Not approaching ATVs from a safety first viewpoint leads to hundreds of injuries, both adult and child, every year.
ATVs are powerful pieces of machinery and should be approached as such. They can be hard
for an adult to handle at times, much less a child. But children are perfectly capable of handling an ATV as long as some basic principles are followed.
Don’t put you child on a ATV that is too large for them. This sounds like common sense, but you would be amazed at how many children are seen on ATVs that would be large for an adult. A light ATV, or in the case of smaller children, a child’s ATV are ideal for your kids. Remember though, an ATV is not a toy, and make absolutely sure that your child understands that as well. Treating an ATV like a toy is the surest way in the world to get injured, wreck your ATV, or both.
Before your child ever gets onto an ATV, you both should attend an ATV safety course. There they will learn the basics of ATV operation and what not to do. Then, you should spend some time hands-on teaching your child the basics of ATVs, such as acceleration, braking, turning, and the like.
Always wear safety gear. This goes for both you and your child. Helmets and protective eye
wear are a must, as well as protective clothing like gloves, jackets, and pants. These should be made of something durable, as they will be subjected to a lot of abuse. Do not wear baggy clothing, as it can get caught on either the terrain (such as a tree) or on moving parts on the ATV.
Never let your children ride unsupervised. Do not allow them to ride near roads, train tracks, or on paved surfaces. Riding near cars is dangerous and illegal in most places, and because ATVs are designed to be used off-road they can easily spin out of control on smooth surfaces like roads and concrete. Train tracks, in addition to the danger posed by trains, can cause an ATV to become stuck or flip over.
Know what your child can handle, and don’t take them riding in places that are too difficult for them. Most accidents happen because of excessive speed or tackling terrain the wrong way. This bears repeating: watch that speed!
If these simple safety guidelines are followed, you and you child can both look forward to many years of family fun, riding ATVs in the great outdoors. Most of these tips are pretty common sense, and apply to the adults as much as the children. Remember, it’s no fun for anyone if either of you get injured out there. Keep it safe, and have fun!