ATV Safety Tips

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center are urging parents not to allow children under age 16 to ride on All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) under any circumstances.

ATVs are responsible each year for over 40,000 injuries and 120 deaths of children 16 and under . While children less than 16 account for about 15 percent of all ATV operators, they represent37 percent of all injuries and 27 percent of all ATV-related fatalities.

“It is critical that all riders understand the importance of safe and responsible ATV use. Many ATVs weigh greater than 500 pounds, travel as fast as 75 miles per hour, and are used in dangerous areas such as fields, forests, and around water,” explained Rebeccah Brown, MD, Trauma Services, Cincinnati Children’s.

“Speed, inexperience, carrying passengers, improper safety gear, and lack of helmets are common factors leading to serious ATV-related injuries and deaths,” she said.

There is no safety device that can adequately protect against many of the injuries commonly sustained while riding ATVs, but Dr. Brown encourages helmet use to reduce the risk of head injuries.

Dr. Brown and the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest the following safety tips to keep kids safe when they ride ATVs:

  • Children who are not licensed to drive a car should not be allowed to operate off-road vehicles.
  • Riding with more than one person at a time on an ATV should not be permitted.
  • All riders should wear helmets that are designed for motorcycle (not bicycle) use and should include safety visors and face shields. Riders should also wear eye protection and protective reflective clothing.
  • Parents should never permit ATVs to be used at night.
  • Flags, reflectors and lights should be used to make vehicles more visible.

About Cincinnati Children's

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is one of just eight children’s hospitals named to the Honor Roll in U.S. News and World Report’s 2010-11 Best Children’s Hospitals. It is ranked #1 for digestive disorders and highly ranked for its expertise in pulmonology, cancer, neonatology, heart and heart surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, diabetes and endocrinology, orthopedics, kidney disorders and urology. Cincinnati Children’s is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. It is internationally recognized for quality and transformation work by Leapfrog, The Joint Commission, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and by hospitals and health organizations it works with globally. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org

Contact Information

Danielle Lewis, 513-636-9473, danielle.lewis1@cchmc.org