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How can I make sure my teen is safe on an ATV?

All-terrain vehicles (ATV) appeal to many Florida teens thanks to the off-road thrills they offer. However, there is a significant risk of injury for people who ride ATVs, and it’s up to parents to make sure their kids are properly protected. KidsHealth.org offers the following advice in this case, which may help your child avoid a serious accident or injury.

First and foremost, no children under 16 should ride an ATV, even if local laws don’t entail an age restriction. Much like other vehicles, operating an ATV takes a level of skill that many younger kids simply do not have. That’s why it’s a good idea to have your teen take a safety course before getting on the vehicle. These courses provide information on safe riding, how to operate the ATV, and what to avoid to prevent a serious crash from occurring.

Wearing a helmet is another key concern. Look for helmets with built-in eye protection to prevent flying dust and debris from causing an injury. If a helmet lacks a flip-down visor or face shield, make sure your teen wears a good pair of shatter-proof goggles any time he or she rides. Gloves, boots, and long pants are also recommended.

Lastly, make sure your teen uses safe driving practices at all times. Driving at high rates of speed might be fun, but it’s also incredibly dangerous. The risk of an accident increases the faster you go, as the vehicle will be harder to control when you’re traveling at a faster speed. ATVs are also not meant for pavement driving, as this can result in a serious injury if the vehicle tips over. 

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