10 Four-Wheeling Safety Tips For Kids
We are a huge out door type family and that means toys for us. This winter we spent as many weekends as possible snowmobiling as a family, taking out the super tubes behind the snowmobiles arranging sledding parties on Beaver Creek. When summer comes we trade in our snowmobile for the camper and the four-wheelers. We feel it’s important to learn the proper way to ride these”toys” at a young age so that when the boys are 16 they don’t start showing off and have already learned the proper way to ride these toys. By starting off early they don’t have the need to impress their friends and are still impressionable enough to listen to everything you tell them during their training. Oh and we can’t forget how terrified they are that you hold the strings on how often they get to ride…or not ride.
With 1,200 acres around us we have plenty of room to start the boys off on “toys” of their own. Last summer we were given an amazing deal on a little 90 cc four-wheeler and the process of buying toys for the boys has begun. We stressed to them how important it is to always listen to mommy and daddy and it will be awhile before they will be riding by themselves in the mountains, but what better time to learn than when they are young.
Below are 10 Four-Wheeling Safety Tips For Kids that we emphasized with ourselves before buying and emphasized even more with our boys. Every outing is stressed how important it is to have the proper clothes, learning how to listen to the four-wheeler and what it’s telling you and of course making sure to observe your surrondings. Gentle reminders are given throughout the ride and we stop often to have Coulter play out scenarios before he is placed in a situation he can’t handle.
- Make sure the four-wheeler is the right size for the child riding it. You certainly don’t want a small child on a huge machine or vice versa. You should be sure the child can comfortably touch the running boards, if they can’t, they are too small for the four wheeler.
- Always be sure the child has the right helmet and other protective gear. The majority of ATV injuries are head injuries. Be certain the helmet you choose is certified by the United States Department of Transportation. Also, the child should have boots that are over the ankle in length, gloves, eye goggles and a long sleeved shirt. Accidents happen so be prepared.
- Make sure your child has a bright colored flag on the back of the four-wheeler and clothing. This way your child will be easily spotted by other riders, vehicles or pedestrians. Just because your child can see who is around them, it doesn’t mean they can see them. A bright colored flag on the four-wheeler will allow people to see the four-wheeler at all times. Also, the bright clothing or a bright mark on the child’s clothing would help them be seen should they fall off their four-wheeler.
- One important safety feature for the ATV to have is a speed governor. The speed governor can be located on the right handlebar. It allows you to restrict the top speed of the four-wheeler to make it safer for the person riding. You wouldn’t want to put your child on a four-wheeler for the first time going full speed would you?
- Do not allow your child to ride their four-wheeler on roads that are paved. ATV’s are not designed for paved roads since they are extremely difficult to control. Also, there is a chance of collisions with other cars can also be very hazardous.
- It is important to remind your child of environmental hazards that may appear during their ride. Hazards like snakes and wildlife as well as cacti, abandoned mines and water wells need to be watched out for.
- You want to establish rules for your child when they are riding away from the house. The safety and well being of your child should come first and is crucial. Be sure the kids understand the rules prior to their ride. It may be beneficial for your child to watch safety videos as well as accident footage so they are fully aware of the dangers associated with four wheelers.
- It is important that your child is prepared before they ride. This means getting enough rest and eating a healthy meal before riding. Also, they should drink plenty of water to say hydrated as well as to replace any lost fluids from sweating.
- One great safety tips for kids is for them to know the terrain of where they will be riding. Trail conditions are subject to change due to weather, elevation and terrain. Be sure they know the weather forecast before they head out.
- Be certain your child rides the four wheeler properly. They need to be aware that showing off, trying to do stunts or speeding can increase their risk of serious injury.