Every Mom Deserves the Gift of Safety
May 11, 2012
by Brent McNamee
There's no gift more precious to a mother than her kids’ safety and happiness. Safety and peace of mind are far more long-lasting than any box of chocolates or bouquet of flowers. Every mom’s wish is for their child to enjoy what they love and live a safe and healthy life.
The shocking reality is that children are involved in about one-third of all ATV-related deaths and hospital emergency room injuries. Most of these deaths and injuries happen when a child is operating or is a passenger on an adult ATV. Children under 16 on adult ATVs are twice as likely to be injured as those riding youth ATVs.*
What can mom's do to make sure that when a child gets on an ATV, the trip doesn’t end in tragedy? It is the parents' responsibility to ensure a child is prepared with the proper education, supervision and fit on the vehicle before operating any ATV. So, in honor of fantastic mom’s everywhere, ATVcourse.com would like to offer valuable ATV safety tips to keep your children safe.
Education and proper training can be the most valuable tool to help children understand the dangers associated with ATVs and teach the proper skills and techniques for a safe ride. In Oregon, all operators must hold a valid ATV Safety Education Card. Youth under the age of 16 are also required to complete hands-on training.
Proper fit plays an extremely important role in your child’s safety. In Oregon, children operating an ATV must first be evaluated based on the Rider Fit requirements. All children under the age of 16 must meet these physical requirements to operate an ATV.
Together with your child, use these guidelines to ensure a proper fit on the ATV that he or she will be operating.
- Brake Reach: When your child’s hand is placed in the normal operating position with fingers extended straight out, does the first joint from the tip of the middle finger reach beyond the brake lever?
- Leg Length: Have your child sit on the ATV with feet placed on the pegs. Do his or her knees bend at least 45 degrees? Are the child’s thighs almost parallel to the footrests?
- Grip Reach: Have your child sit upright on the ATV and his or hands on the handlebars, not leaning forward. Is there a distinct angle between the upper arm and forearm?
- Turning Reach: Is your child able to turn the handlebars from lock to lock while maintaining grip on the handlebars and controlling the throttle and brake?
If the answer was "No" to any of these questions, your child does NOT fit the ATV and should not operate it, under any circumstance. If you answered “Yes” to all of these questions, your child is properly fit for the ATV.
Always remember to closely supervise your child when on an ATV. In Oregon, all operators under the age of 16 must be supervised by an adult at all times while on an ATV.
Follow these tips to protect your child from becoming a statistic of ATV injuries and fatalities. And consider this the best Mother’s Day gift yet – the gift of your child’s safety.
(*Statistics from ATVsafety.gov)