Jeff Green | Aug 06, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - August 6, 2009 Parents reminded to keeps kids safe around ATVs Parents want to keep their kids safe, but one risk many parents may not fully understand involves all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and children. As ATVs have gained in popularity, the rate of injuries in children and youth has reached an all-time high. Each year in Ontario, more than 1,500 children under 16 visit emergency departments because of an ATV injury. Children have been seriously injured and even killed as passengers and drivers of ATVs. Youth riding ATVs are at a major risk of being thrown from the vehicle or having it roll over and crush them. To help educate parents of these dangers, KFL&A Public Health has again launched its "I Didn't Know" campaign.
"In many cases where children were injured, the parents were simply unaware of the risks associated with ATVs for children under 16," said Tanya Beattie, public health promoter with KFL&A Public Health. "We hope our campaign will help parents make the right decisions and realize ATV riding is not child's play."The campaign has the backing of Dr. David Creery, Head of Pediatric Critical Care at CHEO (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario). "Children and young adolescents lack the knowledge, physical size, strength, and co-ordination to safely operate an ATV," said Dr. Creery. "As well, children under 16 have not yet fully developed their ability to judge possible hazards and to anticipate the possible consequences of their actions, which are important skills required to use an ATV safely."
The "I Didn't Know" campaign is coordinated by KFL&A Public Health in conjunction with the Eastern Region Injury Network. ERIN is a regional injury prevention coalition comprised of several local public health agencies, CHEO, and other injury prevention groups.