Pretty much everyone has them, right? ATV's are fun to have during the Summer months, and even useful for farmers and ranchers, but they can also be very dangerous.

ATV Injuries On The Rise

I spoke with Alyssa Preszler, a Trauma Nurse Specialist, who works with "Safe Kids Bismarck-Mandan" -- an organization led by Sanford Health; she says the injuries are getting worse and more frequent.

Preszler is reaching out to parents in the Bismarck-Mandan area, so childhood injuries don't happen.

Are ATV Injuries Common?

According to Today.com, between the years 1982 and 2018, there have been 15,744 ATV fatalities in the US. 3,352 were children.

This source also claims ATV sales and usage has gone up significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic, and with that, the concern is even greater now.

According to ABCNews.com, ATV-related hospitalizations have doubled in the past 10 years. This source says injuries range from broken legs to skull fractures and brain injuries.

"Safe Kids'" Safety Checklist

Preszler provided a safety checklist for riders to follow this summer. Here's what is advised:

1. Plan Your Ride - The first thing on the "Safe Kids" website is all about planning. The organization says it's important to always know where your keys are and know exactly where your kids and family members will be riding.

This is important for a number of reasons. You want to know where they will be if they get hurt, and/or lost.

2. Size Matters - "Safe Kids" explains that one size for everyone of all ages, doesn't necessarily work. Children under the age of 16 are said to not be strong enough to operate a full-sized ATV. Parents should follow the manufacturer's instructions and youth-sized machines should be used where necessary.

3. Get Some Gear - We all see it. People ride around on ATV's without helmets and goggles. These items might not be fashionable, but they could be the difference between life and death or serious injury.

Long sleeves, closed toe shoes, long pants, and gloves are also recommended.

4. Don't Drive Tired - If you are tired, or otherwise impaired, "Safe Kids" insists that you do not drive an ATV.

5. Less Is More - This is another one of those thing we all see. Trying to squeeze too many people onto an ATV is very dangerous. It's advised that you should limit the number of riders to what the manufacturer recommends.

Controlling the machine is very difficult when extra passengers are on, and it makes it more likely that someone will fall off.

6. Safety Courses - Bismarck Parks and Rec actually does offer safety courses on their website. It couldn't hurt to quickly take the course and know you're being safe.

Have Fun

You certainly can still have fun on your ATV's this Summer, but this is just a reminder to be safe too.

"Safe Kids" has a bunch of other safety tips and suggestions for you to check out on its website, if you're interested.


 

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