Are ATV's too Dangerous for Kids?
An ATV is not a toy and is a machine that should be respected and taken seriously, or the potential for injury is great. It is true that many ATV injuries occur every year, especially with children. When children do not wear protective gear, are not supervised, and do not ride in a safe manner, the potential for injury is great. However, with the proper precautions the chances for injury are greatly reduced.
ATV's are not too dangerous for children, providing that you and your child take the necessary safety precautions. If your child does not have the right attitude towards ATV's, they do not wear safety gear, and are not supervised while riding, then yes, an ATV is too dangerous for them. But, if you plan on teaching your child safe driving practices, have them wear safety gear, and supervise them, an ATV can be a safe and enjoyable pastime.
One of the most important things you can do to keep your child safe on an ATV is to teach them safety practices and give them the right attitude about ATV's. If you assume that your child will not view an ATV as a toy and will drive it responsibly without any instruction, you are probably asking for trouble. Taking an ATV safety course with your child is a great way to tech them safe driving practices, and in many places it is required before your child can ride.
Never assume that your child will be responsible right off the bat, they need to be taught how to responsibly drive and supervised to make sure they follow safety protocol. If you drive an ATV as well, you should try to set a good example by always wearing your safety gear and riding safely.
If your child does not wear safety gear, then an ATV is too dangerous for them. Many ATV injuries involving children are preventable if the child had been wearing safety gear. Everyone who rides an ATV should always wear a helmet, goggles, and gloves. The best way to get your child to wear safety gear is to wear it yourself and set a good example. Durable pants and a jacket designed for ATV riding are also a good idea as they can protect from scrapes and abrasions. If you do not intend to enforce the use of safety gear, then do not get your child an ATV as unprotected rides face the biggest risk of injury.
While there are many injuries involving kids and ATV's, with the proper precautions they are not too dangerous for kids. As long as kids know the rules of safe driving and obey them, they should stay safe. It is a parent's responsibility to keep their kids safe and to always supervise them.
If you do not think your child is mature enough to handle the responsibility of safe driving, wait until they are older to get them an ATV. Kids should only drive an ATV that is the correct size and should always be supervised. If kids follow the rules and parents enforce them, ATV riding can be fun and safe.