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100 Deadliest Days of Summer: ATV Safety Right Size, Right Place, Right Helmet: Ride On!

Recreational sports are popular for families in the Natural State. One popular sport is four-wheeling or riding ATVs (all-terrain vehicle). Sam Smith, MD, surgeon in chief at Arkansas Children’s offers some advice and safety tips for parents when it comes to off-roading.

Dr. Smith said he couldn't even begin to count the number of children he’s seen critically injured in all-terrain vehicle crashes during his 20-plus years as a surgeon at Arkansas Children's. He said parents also say that they wish their child had been wearing the right helmet or been better educated on how to ride the vehicle safely.

Did you know?

  • Children under 16 are four times more likely than older riders to sustain ATV-related injuries that require emergency treatment.
  • No one under the age of 16 ride should ride on or operate an ATV. (American Academy of Pediatrics).
  • Most ATVs are designed for just one rider - ride without passengers.

Dr. Smith said the biggest dangers he sees with ATVs are kids riding the wrong size vehicle, in the wrong location without a helmet. Here are some tips from the Injury Prevention Center at Arkansas Children’s to keep you and your family members safe:

  • RIGHT SIZE: Children should never ride adult-size ATVs.
  • RIGHT PLACE: Stay off-road. ATVs are NOT designed to be operated on paved roadways. The majority of deadly ATV crashes occur when they're used on roads.
  • RIGHT HELMET: Always wear a helmet. Wearing the right size helmet can reduce the risk of death in a crash by almost half.

For more information on the Injury Prevention Center at Arkansas Children's, call (501) 364-3400 or email us at injuryprevention@archildrens.org.

 

About the Author:

Sam Smith, MD, is surgeon in chief at Arkansas Children's and a professor of Surgery at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

 

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