4 ATV Tips for Safety on the Trails

Jun 17, 2024 | Children's Health

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Outdoor adventures like ATV (all-terrain vehicle) riding become a popular activity for families during the summer. While these vehicles offer excitement and a sense of freedom, they also come with significant risks, especially for younger riders. 

Andrew Bernales, MD, pediatrician with Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health, shares what parents need to know to keep your kids safe on the trails.

Choosing the Right ATV Size

One of the leading causes of ATV injuries among children is riding a vehicle that is too large for them. ATVs are designed with different engine sizes and power capacities, tailored to specific age groups and skill levels. 

Select an ATV that matches your child’s size and experience. A vehicle that’s too powerful can be difficult for them to control, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries.

Always Wear a Helmet and Protective Gear

Safety gear is non-negotiable when it comes to ATV riding. Helmets are the most critical piece of protective equipment and should be worn at all times. 

In addition to helmets, young riders should wear gloves, long sleeves, long pants and over-the-ankle boots. This gear helps protect against cuts, scrapes, and more severe injuries in the event of a fall or collision.

Adult Supervision is a Must

Children should never ride ATVs unsupervised. Adult supervision ensures that young riders adhere to safety rules and helps prevent risky behavior. 

An adult can also provide immediate assistance in case of an emergency, which can be crucial in preventing minor incidents from becoming major injuries.

Stay Off Open Roads

ATVs are not designed for use on paved roads or in areas where there are other vehicles. The risk of collision with cars, trucks or other ATVs is significantly higher in these environments. 

Instead, choose trails and areas designated specifically for ATV use. These areas are typically designed with safety in mind, reducing the likelihood of accidents.

Taking these precautions can help ensure that your ATV adventures are both thrilling and safe. By choosing the right vehicle, wearing the proper gear and riding responsibly, you can protect your children from preventable injuries.

Play it safe this summer. Connect with an exceptional pediatrician near you: 

Find a pediatric provider in Baton Rouge

Find a pediatric provider in Acadiana

Find a pediatric provider in Greater Jackson.

Find a pediatric provider in Northeast Louisiana

Find a pediatric provider in Bogalusa.

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