MONDAY, Sept. 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- In a policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics and published online Sept. 26 in Pediatrics, recommendations are presented for the prevention of pediatric all-terrain vehicle (ATV)-related deaths and injuries.
Charles A. Jennissen, M.D., from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues summarized key background information and provided detailed recommendations designed to provide strategies that could reduce the number of pediatric deaths and injuries resulting from youth riding on ATVs.
The authors note that the American Academy of Pediatrics still recommends that children younger than 16 years not operate or ride on an ATV as a passenger. Based on the most serious risk factors for pediatric ATV-related deaths and injuries, the recommended safety practices include never operating an ATV on a public roadway; never crossing a public roadway unless permitted by law and supervised by an adult; never carrying or riding as a passenger on a single-rider ATV; only operating ATVs that are the correct size for the operator; always wearing a Department of Transportation-compliant helmet; never riding at night; and never operating an ATV under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs, or substances that physically or cognitively impair the ability to maintain vehicle control. In cases where families have specific circumstances that may require use of ATVs by children younger than 16 years, parents should follow all general and age-specific safety rules.
"Unfortunately, many parents and other caregivers have failed to recognize and/or acknowledge the risk and heed the warnings, putting children and teenagers at significant and unnecessary risk of serious injury and death," the authors write.