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ATV injuries accelerate

Agriculture.com Staff 01/12/2012 @ 2:51pm

What weighs up to 800 pounds, travels up to 75 mph, and doesn’t require a license?

Could be your family’s new ATV. If your kids are asking to drive it or to ride along, consider a New Year’s safety resolution.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, kids under age 16 account for 28% of ATV-related deaths. About 40,000 children under 16 land in hospital emergency rooms annually because of an ATV injury.

Charles Jennissen, director for pediatric emergency medicine at University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, is on the front lines.“ATV injuries to kids have tripled in the past decade,” he says. “A big problem is that children are riding ATVs that aren’t designed for them. Our study showed that all of the children admitted to the University of Iowa Hospitals with injuries from 2002 to 2009 had been on an adult-size machine."

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend kids under 16 ride ATVs. Manufacturer guidelines for engine size are 90 cc or greater for ages 16 and older; 70 to 90 cc for ages 12 to 15; and less than 70 cc for ages 6 to 11.

After a crash that killed an 8-year-old, Massachusetts banned children under 14 from operating an ATV. In Oregon, Concerned Families for ATV Safety was formed in 2002 by Sue Rabe, after her 10-year-old, 80-pound son died when a 500-pound ATV rolled over and suffocated him.

Even if youth meet age and size criteria, training is needed. “There’s a lot of potential for serious injury,” Jennissen says. “Most children receive little or no ATV instruction.”Jennissen grew up on a Minnesota farm. He learned ATV dangers early on when his cousin was killed while operating an ATV.

He’s part of an ATV safety task force that has obtained grants from the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and through Kohl’s Cares for Kids program. The grants have funded an outreach to 2,200 students, ages 12 to 15, in 13 eastern Iowa schools. “We teach kids how to say no to invitations to ride as a passenger or to drive ATVs too large for them,” he says. “We want them to think about what to say before they’re in that situation.”

Displays at schools and county fairs feature an ATV tilt table that simulates an overturn. ATV task force members show a PowerPoint presentation with before-and-after photos of facial stitches, as well as a high school athlete paralyzed in an ATV incident.

According to school surveys, 80% of kids ages 11 to 16 have ridden an ATV. Over one half who have been on an ATV have been involved in a crash.It’s also illegal to carry a passenger. “The seat is long because it’s designed to allow the operator to shift weight and to maintain center of gravity,” Jennissen says. “It’s not for passengers. Sudden acceleration, slopes, and turns can result in rollovers or the passenger being ejected, causing head injuries.”

Photo: Students attend the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety’s ATV training.

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01/23/2012 @ 6:55pm Dear Editor: The January 12, 2012 article, “ATV Injuries Accelerate,” highlighted the dangers of children operating large ATVs designed for adult riders. While we applaud the article’s general focus, the article missed several key ATV safety-related messages that we would like to share with readers of agriculture.com. Manufacturer's Minimum Age Recommendation Warning Labels: The article presented out-of-date manufacturer’s guidelines for correctly matching an ATV to the rider’s age. The correct way to determine if an ATV is appropriate for the intended rider’s age is to look for the Manufacturer’s Minimum Age Recommendation Warning Labels clearly affixed to all new ATVs. There are five age designations. Please see this link for images of the labels: http://www.atvsafety.org/images/warning_labels.jpg ATV Safety Training: The article highlighted the need for children to receive ATV safety training, however, it failed to mention that ATV training is available for free. The nationwide free education and training programs are made possible by the major manufacturers and distributors of ATVs and delivered through the ATV Safety Institute (ASI). The ASI has many ATV safety programs available, including our ATV RiderCourseSM, a hands-on, rider-training course that is available for free to anyone in the U.S. who has purchased a new ATV from one of the ASI’s member companies. The training is also free to family members and is available for anyone age 6 and older. In most cases, the major manufacturers pay incentives valued at up to $100 to purchasers who complete the course. To enroll in an ASI ATV RiderCourse, visit atvsafety.org or call 800.887.2887. ASI also offers free online e-Courses. There are courses specifically designed for either children or teens, and parents are encouraged to sit alongside and participate. ASI’s Golden Rules of ATV Safety: The article made mention of the fact that passengers should not be allowed on an ATV that is designed for a single rider. However, inappropriately riding with a passenger is only one of the ATV industry’s warned-against behaviors. Safe and responsible ATV use starts by following ASI’s Golden Rules of ATV Safety: 1. Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves. 2. Never ride on paved roads except to cross when done safely and permitted by law - another vehicle could hit you. ATVs are designed to be operated off-highway. 3. Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. 4. Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV, and no more than one passenger on an ATV specifically designed for two people. 5. Ride an ATV that's right for your age. 6. Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys. 7. Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed. 8. Take a hands-on ATV RiderCourseSM and the free online E-Course. Visit ATVsafety.org or call 800.887.2887. You can find these Golden Rules presented on ASI’s homepage – www.atvsafety.org The ATV Safety Institute: The safe and responsible use of ATVs is a top priority of the ATV industry. In 1988, ATV industry leaders formed the ATV Safety Institute (ASI) to implement an expanded national program of all-terrain vehicle safety education and awareness. The ASI is a not-for-profit organization whose primary goal is to promote the safe and responsible use of ATVs. In addition, there are safety videos and many other ATV safety materials available on our website, including the publication entitled, “Parents, Youngsters and ATVs”. Links you might find of interest: • ASI’s online e-Courses: http://bit.ly/p8FnPP, or click “Enroll Now” on our homepage. • ASI’s collection of safety videos: http://atvsafety.org/videos.cfm • Media resources: http://bit.ly/r00lNx • ASI’s “Tips And Practice Guide for the ATV Rider” booklet: http://www.atvsafety.org/InfoSheets/ATV_Riding_Tips.pdf • ASI’s “Parents, Youngsters and ATV’s” booklet: http://www.atvsafety.org/downloads/pya.pdf • Other safety materials: http://bit.ly/nT1hgY If you would like any further information on ATV safety, please contact me at (949) 727-3727, extension 3091. Warm Regards, Paul Vitrano Executive Vice President ATV Safety Institute

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In Response to "ATV Injuries Accelerate" 01/23/2012 @ 6:35pm Dear Editor: The January 12, 2012 article, “ATV Injuries Accelerate,” highlighted the dangers of children operating large ATVs designed for adult riders. While we applaud the article’s general focus, the article missed several key ATV safety-related messages that we would like to share with readers of agriculture.com. Manufacturer's Minimum Age Recommendation Warning Labels: The article presented out-of-date manufacturer’s guidelines for correctly matching an ATV to the rider’s age. The correct way to determine if an ATV is appropriate for the intended rider’s age is to look for the Manufacturer’s Minimum Age Recommendation Warning Labels clearly affixed to all new ATVs. There are five age designations. Please see this link for images of the labels: http://www.atvsafety.org/images/warning_labels.jpg ATV Safety Training: The article highlighted the need for children to receive ATV safety training, however, it failed to mention that ATV training is available for free. The nationwide free education and training programs are made possible by the major manufacturers and distributors of ATVs and delivered through the ATV Safety Institute (ASI). The ASI has many ATV safety programs available, including our ATV RiderCourseSM, a hands-on, rider-training course that is available for free to anyone in the U.S. who has purchased a new ATV from one of the ASI’s member companies. The training is also free to family members and is available for anyone age 6 and older. In most cases, the major manufacturers pay incentives valued at up to $100 to purchasers who complete the course. To enroll in an ASI ATV RiderCourse, visit atvsafety.org or call 800.887.2887. ASI also offers free online e-Courses. There are courses specifically designed for either children or teens, and parents are encouraged to sit alongside and participate. ASI’s Golden Rules of ATV Safety: The article made mention of the fact that passengers should not be allowed on an ATV that is designed for a single rider. However, inappropriately riding with a passenger is only one of the ATV industry’s warned-against behaviors. Safe and responsible ATV use starts by following ASI’s Golden Rules of ATV Safety: 1. Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves. 2. Never ride on paved roads except to cross when done safely and permitted by law - another vehicle could hit you. ATVs are designed to be operated off-highway. 3. Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. 4. Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV, and no more than one passenger on an ATV specifically designed for two people. 5. Ride an ATV that's right for your age. 6. Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys. 7. Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed. 8. Take a hands-on ATV RiderCourseSM and the free online E-Course. Visit ATVsafety.org or call 800.887.2887. You can find these Golden Rules presented on ASI’s homepage – www.atvsafety.org The ATV Safety Institute: The safe and responsible use of ATVs is a top priority of the ATV industry. In 1988, ATV industry leaders formed the ATV Safety Institute (ASI) to implement an expanded national program of all-terrain vehicle safety education and awareness. The ASI is a not-for-profit organization whose primary goal is to promote the safe and responsible use of ATVs. In addition, there are safety videos and many other ATV safety materials available on our website, including the publication entitled, “Parents, Youngsters and ATVs”. Links you might find of interest: • ASI’s online e-Courses: http://bit.ly/p8FnPP, or click “Enroll Now” on our homepage. • ASI’s collection of safety videos: http://atvsafety.org/videos.cfm • Media resources: http://bit.ly/r00lNx • ASI’s “Tips And Practice Guide for the ATV Rider” booklet: http://www.atvsafety.org/InfoSheets/ATV_Riding_Tips.pdf • ASI’s “Parents, Youngsters and ATV’s” booklet: http://www.atvsafety.org/downloads/pya.pdf • Other safety materials: http://bit.ly/nT1hgY If you would like any further information on ATV safety, please contact me at (949) 727-3727, extension 3091. Warm Regards, Paul Vitrano Executive Vice President ATV Safety Institute

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