Children and ATVs – What Parents Need to Know

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Almost one-third of approximately 9,000 ATV-related deaths on record from the years 1982 to 2007 were children under the age of 16.  Many people believe the “child-sized” ATV models are safer, but there is no actual evidence to back up this theory.

ATV accidents have proven to pose a significant financial burden on families, as medical costs related to child ATV injuries increased 196 percent between the years 2000 and 2004.  Children riding ATVs pose the highest risk for hospitalization of 33 activities children generally participate in, including bike riding, wrestling, and skate-boarding.  The risk of injury related to children riding ATVs is 61 percent higher than the next highest risk, which is football.  ATVs seriously injure or kill more than 40,000 kids below the age of 16 each year, and that number is steadily increasing.

“All Terrain Vehicles are particularly dangerous for children younger than 16 years who may have immature judgment and motor skills.  Children who are not licensed to drive a car should not be allowed to operate off-road vehicles,” according to The American Academy of Pediatrics.  Keep your kids safe.  Do not let children under the age of 16 operate ATVs.  Too often, the risk greatly outweighs the “fun.”

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