An average of two children per week were admitted to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in 2014 relating to in all-terrain vehicle (ATV) injuries according to new data released.
At one point, Arkansas had the nation’s highest ATV related deaths for children 17 and under between 2009 and 2013.
Nationally, children 16 and under account for 23 percent of deaths and injuries related to ATV use, which experts say is troubling since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 16 should not be riding ATVs.
“A lot of the ATVs that are out there aren’t equipped or aren’t made for small young people,” said Arkansas Game and Fish Hunter and Education Coordinator, Joe Huggins.
“Most of them that people buy are for people that are 16 years and older and so you’ve really got to look at the size of the individual that’s riding it and the size of the ATV because how you maneuver an ATV is shifting your weight,” Huggins added.
Huggins told, wearing a helmet, gloves, and glasses should always be worn when riding.
“ATVs aren’t designed to carry other people, that seat may be long and maybe look like it has a lot of room, but the seat is designed for you to just adjust your weight, to scoot forward, scoot back, lean to one side or the other, and you’ll lose control or being able to operate that ATV when you have that added weight on the back of a passenger,” said Huggins.