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ATV and Dirt Bike Safety for Kids – Things Every Parent Should Do

ATV and Dirt Bike Safety for Kids – Things Every Parent Should Do

“Since its introduction in the 1960s, the ATV has evolved to become not only a very effective farm tool but also a popular outdoor recreational vehicle. The thrill the sport brings plus the proliferation of stores that sell cheap dirt bikes and ATVs have meant that it is now common to see parents buy dirt bikes and ATVs for their young kids.

Despite the fact that we regularly see other seven or eight year olds riding them almost effortlessly, irresponsible riding of dirt bikes and ATVs could cause injuries to your child. In the U.S. for example, a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that 4 out of 10 people rushed to emergency rooms for ATV-related injuries are aged 16 and below.

Fortunately, parents can keep their children free from injuries stemming from the use of dirt bikes and ATVs by simply following simple safety rules. Here are some of them:

§ Before your child even goes near an ATV or a dirt bike, be sure to give him or her lessons on how to properly and safely handle the machines. When teaching them how to ride, be sure that they understand how driving a dirt bike is different from riding an ordinary bicycle and that however fun they are, dirt bikes and ATVs are not toys but machines to be handles with care.

§ Tell them how laws (e.g. no riding of ATVs on highways) were created for a reason and then emphasize how he needs to follow them strictly for his or her safety. Make sure you familiarize your kids with all the laws related to riding the vehicles.

§ Always check the condition of your kids’ ATV or dirt bike before you let him or her ride it. Make sure that there is enough gas on the tank, the brakes are working, the tires are filled with the proper amount of air and the lights are functioning.

§ Dirt bikes and ATVs were meant to be ridden by just one person at a time, so never let your child have somebody ride with him/her on the same ATV or dirt bike. This affects the vehicle’s balance and increases the risk of an accident happening.

§ Never let them ride on public roads–not only is this illegal in most areas, it is also very, very dangerous as well.

§ Always ensure that your kids wear all the proper protective gear like gloves, goggles, boots, jackets and most importantly, helmets. Also, remember that there are safety equipments designed especially for riding ATVs and dirt bikes and those used by your kids for other activities, most often than not, offer inadequate protection (e.g. the helmets used for bicycling for example, do not offer protection for the face).

§ Be sure that the size and speed of the ATV or dirt bike your kid rides on is appropriate for their age. It is recommended that those age 6-11 ride vehicles under 70cc while those aged 12-15 should ride 70-90 cc engines.

§ Never let the younger kids ride out alone. Always have an adult, riding on another vehicle of course, supervise them to ensure their safety.

Some question whether buying kids dirt bikes and ATVs is a wise idea. Yes, these vehicles are powerful machines whose misuse could lead to accidents and injuries, but as long as they are driven responsibly and precautionary measures are taken, ATVs and dirt bikes are safe to use.