Atv and Dirt Bike Safety for Kids

A dirt bike or an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) is meant to ride off-road. It is in fact a lightweight motorcycle equipped with rugged tires and suspension; in other words it can be called a 2 or 4 wheel off road motorcycle. ATV’s and dirt bikes have been around since the 60s and are still thriving. Kids and adults thirst for adventure and the call to rugged terrains is renewed with every generation.
ATV are used as outdoors utility vehicle such as on farms, hunting… ATVs are good recreational vehicle, they are fun to rid on dirt and sand dunes; there are many professional, sanctioned off road ATV races. The demand for dirt bikes and ATVs has drastically increased. There are many ATVs and dirt bikes available at cheap prices for kids and adults. It is now common to see youngsters who are seven to eight years old mounting dirt bikes and ATVs expertly and with ease. But injuries caused by riding dirt bikes and ATVs happen very often. Studies by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission have come up with stunning figures: many as 4 out of 10 people who are involved in an ATV accident are kids under the age of 16.
The primary safety rule of course is to first learn how to ride an ATV or Dirt Bike before hitting the outdoors. The responsibility for properly training a child to ride ATVs or dirt bikes lies with the parents. The young rider must be supervised at all times while riding an off-road machine.
The law in the US does not allow ATVs on freeways and kids should never be allowed to ride where there is traffic. Children should not be allowed carry anyone on the off road vehicle; this is a major cause of serious accidents. It’s a good practice to make a complete pre-ride check before using the ATV or dirt bike. Check the tire pressure, gas level, test the brakes front and rear as well as the lights. Please refer to the respective ATV manufacturer manual for complete details.
Riding on public roads can prove fatal. Ensure that children never ride without a helmet and wear gloves, eye protection and protective gear. It is good sense not to make do with protective gear meant for other activities such as daddy’s football gear – because the gear required for safe riding on dirt bikes and ATVs is designed with that purpose in mind.
Bikes and ATVs are age specific and size specific, so elders are well advised to buy and upgrade the bike according to the child’s age. There is no rule as to what age a kid has to be to ride an ATV or dirt bike but do not put a 4 year old on a 110cc ATV or a 50cc dirt bike. A 4 stroke 70cc ATV for kids packs enough punch for an adult to have fun on it. Thankfully most youth ATVs and dirt bikes are equipped with safety controls such as:
A speed governor that sets the maximum speed as low as 5MPH
A corded plug that allows an adult to run along with the youngster and pull to kill the engine (great feature for very young riders)
A remote control that can kill the engine by the press of a button within up to 200 feet (great to keep little older kids under control)
As for the ever-popping question, how young of a child can ride an ATV? Since every kid is different, it is up to each parent to decide what age a child can ride what ATV or dirt bike.
Remember that a child on a bike is definitely vulnerable. Riding vehicles off road can be very fun and provide a healthy workout. To reduce the risk of injury, good training, constant supervision and following the manufacturer’s instructions are a must.