Keep your family safe this summer by following
these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). For sun and
water safety tips, see this tip sheet. Please feel free to use them in any print or broadcast story,
with appropriate attribution of source.
Children who are too young to
have a driver's license should not be allowed to operate or ride off-road
vehicles. Children are involved in about 30 percent of all ATV-related
deaths and emergency room-treated injuries.
Because their nervous systems
and judgment have not fully developed, off-road vehicles are particularly
dangerous for children younger than 16 years.
Don't ride double. Passengers
are frequently injured when riding ATVs. Most ATVs are designed to
carry only one person: the driver. Passengers can make ATVs unstable and
difficult to control.
All ATV riders should take a
hands-on safety training course.
All riders should wear helmets,
eye protection, sturdy shoes (no flip-flops), and protective, reflective
clothing. Appropriate helmets are those designed for
motorcycle (not bicycle) use, and should include safety visors/face shields
for eye protection. Wearing a helmet may prevent or reduce the severity of
ATVs lack the common safety
equipment found on all cars and trucks that are designed for street use.
ATV tires are not designed to grip on pavement, so operators should not
ride on paved roads. Parents should never permit nighttime riding or
street use of off-road vehicles.
Flags, reflectors and lights
should be used to make vehicles more visible.
Drivers of recreational
vehicles should not drive while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or
even some prescription medicines. Parents should set an example for their
children in this regard.
Young drivers should be
discouraged from on-road riding of any 2-wheeled motorized cycle, even
when they are licensed to do so, because they are
inherently more dangerous than passenger cars.
© American Academy of