You have heard it before: Never let them ride an ATV alone. Never let your kids ride ATVs alone. It is a pretty standard safety practice. You riding an ATV alone is optional and that it is a matter of common sense. With kids, it’s the law. They have to be supervised when riding an ATV.
For me, that usually means I am riding with them, or they are riding in the yard with me outside watching them. It can also be the kids riding in the immediate area of our camp if we are away from home. The point is that you don’t let them ride out of your view or out of your control. As my oldest son gets better at riding his quad, we go further from camp. At 4 years old, we typically don’t go much further than you could easily walk back, or get towed back as the case may be. So far, that has been less than a mile.
Also, ATV use is growing rapidly in the United States for both work and play. While it is a lot of fun, it can also be dangerous if you are not prepared or when you ride irresponsibly. Part of responsible riding is wearing proper gear, especially for your kids who don’t know any different, or any better. You have to start them young with good habits and that as their parents, be a good role model.
Aside from the common sense aspect of wearing safety gear that every rider should consider (you know, that whole safety thing), many states have legal requirements for children to wear a helmet while riding ATVs. For our kids I think that is a good idea because believe it or not, every parent does not enforce their children wearing a helmet when riding their ATV.
In my personal opinion, you should take it a few steps further than the legal requirements. Here is my recommendation for gear kids should wear while they are riding ATVs:
1. DOT or Snell Foundation approved helmet
2. Goggles (not sun-glasses)
3. Long pants and a long sleeved shirt
4. Over the ankle boots (laces should be taped or tucked away)
5. Gloves that can tuck in shirt sleeves
6. Chest protector*
7. Knee and Elbow pads*
*Use these items if your kid is jumping or racing.
Remember; their safety is in YOUR hands! Be safe and responsible, and teach your kids to be safe and responsible.