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Are quad bikes and youngsters like oil and water?
Post by Phil Smulian
Several families like to go on adventure holidays where hiking, river rafting and quad biking abound. But not all adventure actions are genuinely little kid-friendly, 1 of the most contentious getting quad biking. There are two schools of thought when it comes to quad biking for children 1 maintains that quad bikes teach children beneficial lessons about driving later on in life, as properly as coordination, motor manage (take that any way you want) and, interestingly, how to adhere to instructions. The second believes that quad bikes are inherently unsafe and that children beneath a specific age (which varies amongst 12 and 16 years old) shouldn’t be allowed to drive them, not even under full adult supervision or on private land.
American research into the rate of injury and death to children under the age of 16 whilst driving quad bikes revealed some rather frightening statistics. The actual rate of death and injury was described in terms of “epidemic” proportions. In the 20 years amongst 1982 and 2002 more than 500 000 children had been injured even though driving quad bikes or ATVs (all terrain automobiles), since 1997 the number of injuries and deaths has increased year-on-year.
Most young children who are injured or killed in quad biking accidents are beneath the age of 16 and the exact same age group is twice as likely as older riders to demand emergency space therapy following an accident. The injuries received by kids are also most likely to be far more serious and call for longer and much more intense remedy than these of old riders. The most typical incorporate head and spinal injuries.
New Zealand-based investigation reveals figures that are possibly even scarier than these from the US. The youngest quad bike driver involved in an accident was just two years old and the average age of young children injured was just over nine. Only 14 per cent of children injured in quad bike accidents had been wearing a helmet, which explains the prevalence of skull fractures and facial injuries.
Researchers across the world are finding equivalent results (even though no other two-year-old drivers have been reported), which has prompted safety groups to call for tighter controls when it comes to quad biking and quad bike sales. Suggestions incorporate certified compulsory training with all quad bike purchases and age-connected restrictions on engine size.
Suggestions for parents
If you and your child are going to go quad biking with each other, there are some important issues to bear in thoughts.
Picking a quad bike:
* Do not skimp on high quality. Your child’s life is at stake, so now is not the time to attempt the really inexpensive, unknown brand from Somalia. Brand names have reputations for a cause, and should things go wrong they are less difficult to repair.
* Size matters. Numerous parents purchase quad bikes that are too huge for their young children, so that they will last longer. This is a massive mistake due to the fact children don’t have the strength or dexterity to manage quad bikes at the best of times. When bikes are too massive the danger of accidents increases exponentially. It’s quite essential that your kid can reach all the controls (handlebars, brakes, and accelerator) comfortably. If quad biking is going to be a fixture in your child’s life, make certain he or she takes excellent care of it so you can sell it for a affordable price when the time comes to upsize.
* Appear for safety characteristics such as cut-off switches to stop speeding.
* The younger the kid, the smaller sized the engine. 50cc engines with a leading speed of 6kph are all a youngster below the age of 5 wants.
* By no means leave your little quad biker unattended even at 6kph accidents can happen quickly.
* Usually put on a helmet. Other safety gear, such as gloves, elbow and knee pads and goggles are also important.
* In no way ride at night.
* Never ride on a public road.
* Never ride double.
* Always treat other riders courteously.
The bottom line is that quad biking can be hazardous, but with the correct care, education and equipment it needn’t be significantly riskier than taking your youngsters mountain biking or river rafting (specially in rapids). Don’t forget the suggestions, preserve them supervised at all times and your tiny rays of sunshine really should be just fine.
Phil writes about quad biking for the South Africa travel & adventure directory, Leeulekker.
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