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They say children under age 16 should not drive all-terrain vehicles
By Cheryl Clark
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
November 23, 2004



DAN TREVAN / Union-Tribune
A youngster by his ATV watched riders in the sands at Glamis Dunes in Imperial County. Outings where many thousands of people assemble for ATV riding are family events, but in the past 11 months, 117 children under age 16 riding in desert areas were taken to Children's Hospital with severe injuries.

Trauma experts at Children's Hospital will issue a formal plea today to parents of children under 16: Don't let your kids ride all-terrain vehicles.

Not under any circumstance.

They shouldn't ride even if the bike's engine is a small 90 cubic centimeters, even if they take safety courses, even if they wear helmets and other protective equipment. And they shouldn't ride even if a trained adult is supervising alongside.

"It's all about the life-threatening and life-injuring head and cervical spine injuries and the broken bones," said Dr. Susan Duthie, a pediatric intensive-care specialist at Children's who has treated many such patients.

"It's all about the parents who say afterward, 'If only I had known.' "

Despite safety measures, "these bikes are very powerful, they're very heavy and they go very fast," she said. "We hear the parents say, 'I did everything I could do.' But maybe the best thing they could have done was not have their child on that ATV."

Last August, Daniel Acevedo, 14, suffered two collapsed lungs and a lacerated liver requiring a 10-day stay in Children's intensive-care unit after two friends let him ride their 229-cc all-terrain vehicle. According to the ATV Safety Institute, the bike should not exceed 90 cc.

Toll in injuries, lives
From Children's Hospital and Health Center San Diego:

383 – Number of children under 16 traumatically injured by all-terrain or off-road vehicles from January 2000 to August 2004.

117 – Injuries occurred in the past 11 months.

200 – Number who were 11 or younger.

3.8 days – Average stay in the hospital

$5,000 to $299,289 – Range of hospital charges for ATV trauma patients.

From the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

99 – Number of children under 16 killed in ATV-related accidents nationally in 2002

37,100 – Number of children under 16 treated in hospital emergency rooms for ATV-related accidents nationally in 2002

305 – Number of Californians killed in ATV-related accidents since 1982.


The Chula Vista youth wasn't on the bike more than a few minutes in an area called River Bottom near Palm Avenue when he hit a pothole. "The bike flipped me out and then hit me on the side. I could barely breathe. It was really painful," he said.

As Thanksgiving approaches, Children's officials say they anticipate a painful trend: an increasing number of ATV injuries and deaths among children. Many cases occur during weekends spent in the 160,000 acres of sand dunes and flat desert in eastern San Diego and Imperial counties.

On these outings, hundreds of thousands of people assemble in areas where ATV riding is not only a sport but a family event.

In the past 11 months, for example, 117 children under age 16 riding in desert areas were taken by helicopter or ambulance to Children's with severe injuries.

Since 2000, Children's has received an average of 67 such patients each year. Last Veterans Day, Duthie said, one of her ATV patients died.

"That's just the tip of the iceberg," said Cheri Fidler, director of community health at Children's. Many pediatric trauma patients in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area are flown to trauma centers in Yuma or Orange or Riverside counties. Some are pronounced dead at the scene or at Imperial County hospitals.

In January, doctors at Pioneers Hospital in Brawley posted an ATV ad with altered wording: "Thinking about an ATV for your child? Why not just beat him in the head with a baseball bat and cut out the middleman."

Nationally, the number of injuries and deaths from all-terrain vehicles has grown steadily, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Emergency-room visits for children under 16 rose from 19,300 in 1995 to 37,100 in 2002.



RONI GALGANO / Union-Tribune
Daniel Acevedo, 14, was badly injured riding an ATV in Chula Vista. His father, Jesus (behind him), was a big part of his recovery support system.

Representatives of the ATV industry bristle at claims that the bikes are more dangerous for children than two-wheeled bike riding or playing football.

If injuries have escalated, it's because the number of riders has risen astronomically, said Roy Denner, president of the Off-Road Business Association, a national trade group based in Santee.

"This is not Nintendo. It's an active sport," he said. "Have they compared it with hockey or skateboarding? I see where this is going: Have all kids stay home watching television."

Besides, Denner said, ATV events are largely family gatherings. "Think what your kid might be doing if he weren't riding – maybe drive-by shooting or doing drugs or graffiti or who knows what?"

Debate aside, medical and consumer groups nationwide are pushing for tougher warnings aimed at young ATV riders.

The plea from Children's Hospital echoes the American Academy of Pediatrics' 1998 recommendations, which say people shouldn't ride ATVs unless they have a driver license. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is considering similar nationwide rules.

Dr. Gene Nathan, past president of American Academy of Pediatrics of San Diego and Imperial Counties, defends that policy vehemently.

"You wouldn't want anyone in your family under 16 to get in the car and drive by themselves," he said.

As a physician practicing in Santee and Rancho San Diego, Nathan said, he sees "younger and younger kids taking on more and more difficult skills with more and more serious injuries" from ATVs.

The San Diego Off-Road Coalition's president, Harold Soens, had a different view. "The problem is that parents buy these vehicles for themselves and then turn the kids loose with them," he said. "They use them as a baby sitter. That's not the ATV's fault. It's the parents'."

Each vehicle has instructions specifying what age groups the bike's engine is appropriate for, Soens said.

In California, people under 18 must take a safety course or be under the direct supervision of an adult who has a safety certificate in his or her possession. Children 13 or younger aren't allowed to operate an ATV without supervision from a parent or guardian.

Injuries still happen even when the state laws are followed, Nathan said. He said training classes are hard to find and the safety-course rule is not enforced, except with "a wink and a nod."

Nathan, Fidler and Duthie realize that for many parents and children, ATVs are a way of life that they won't be able to stop.

"We know kids are riding and we don't want to put our heads in the sand," Fidler said. "We just want them to know what the dangers are. We don't want them to be among those who say, 'If only I had known.' "



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Cheryl Clark: (619) 542-4573; [email protected]










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Discussion Starter #2
What makes me angry is the yay hoo at childrens that said to not even let kids with safety equipment ride atv's under 90cc's even if they are supervised by a parent and have gone through a safety course. I like Childrens hospital, I like what they do for children and when my new born son had to have heart surgery they were awsome to us but this article makes me so mad. I agree that many kids get hurt because of the lack of responsibility on the parents part but that one statement I just mentioned is absolutely absured!!! :s96: :s96: :s96: :no: :tdown:
 

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Holy shit! Stuff like this makes me mad :s96: :tdown:

When are people going to realize that we all dont grow at the same pace and no one is exactly the same as another? Therefor, age should not have a say in weather a perons is or is not allowed to operate a quad. If im really 9, but I look like I was 12, what can stop me from handling a raptor 80 any worse then any other 12yr old? IMO there shouldnt be a law saying you need to be a certain age to ride an atv. They shouldnt have any restrictions at all. It should be up to the buyer, and If the buyer is under 18, then it should be up to the parent.

People these days... so fucking stupid! :s96:
 

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Trauma experts at Children's Hospital will issue a formal plea today to parents of children under 16: Don't let your kids ride all-terrain vehicles.

Not under any circumstance.

They shouldn't ride even if the bike's engine is a small 90 cubic centimeters, even if they take safety courses, even if they wear helmets and other protective equipment. And they shouldn't ride even if a trained adult is supervising alongside.
All I read was that much and already know that they dont know what they're talking about. :bummer:
 

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Im willing to bet my YFZ that there are more deaths in cars than ATV's every year, I guess we should not allow 16 year olds to drive either. That's a rediculous article. Ofcourse kids get hurt on ATV's, just like they get hurt driving, cycling, swimming, running, playing sports etc..
 

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its not the age of the person.. its how skilled they are and parents shoudlentr buy there kids quads that they cannot handle.. who cares if you under 16 and ride quads what does age have to do with it? aboslutely nothing.. there could be a 10 year old who is a better rider then a 16 year old but yet people still would rather the 16 year old ride then the 10 year old... its all bullshit, there probly just jeouls ebcause tyheyc ant afford a quad
 

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Daniel Acevedo, 14, was badly injured riding an ATV in Chula Vista. His father, Jesus (behind him), was a big part of his recovery support system.
LOL i love how the second sentence reads.

Anyhow i think its complete BS, why the smear campaign aganist quads? i'd bet that dirtbikes cause alot more injurys each year to 12-16 year olds then quads. Not to mention it really is based on rider skill, i only crashed my blaster once (doning donuts on bubble tires lol). And have never crashed my raptor in 11 months of ownership and i'm 15. I cant stand reading this crap
 

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Ok im 15 turning 16 next month ive got a broken finger,strained ligaments in my ankle and, a torn AC joint in my shoulder.All of this was from football I love playing football but i get injured more from that than riding my ATV. The worst thing that has ever happened to me on my wheeler was i got a good concussion people like the person who wrote this article are ignorant and shouldnt even be allowed to think let alone write a article.
 

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Whats safer; A quad that goes faster, or a quad that goes full throttle when you turn to the right because your knee hits the throttle?

If I was riding a 90 right now, I probably would've hurt myself many times by now because it is WAY too small. I can't even steer the things because my legs get in the way.

I guess they're assuming that every person under 16 is 4' tall :roll:
 

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#1. stupid kids and parents should not be allowed to own or operate an atv.

#2. shorts, tee shirt and no helmet does not constitute as saftey equipment

nothing in this world is totally safe, and in the wrong hands off road toys are very dangerous. they demand respect, which obviously those morons did not have.

i have ZERO sympathy for those kids OR their parents.
these machines are NOT toys.

would you let your untrained kids go in the woods with a shotgun?
than why to these moronic parents let these little bastards run free with an off road machine without proper training.

fawk em all. let darwin sort em out.
 

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Wow.. I thought I saw it all...freakin idiots :s96: :s96:

I scraped my knee in gym today, does that mean they should ban gym because I got hurt? I guess people under 16 can't ride a lawnmower, because it might hurt them. And they can't use a canoe because they might drown. And they can't go fishing because they might get hurt... I'd go on...but you get the point.

Sorry, but FU(KING RETARDS PISS ME OFF!!!!!!! :s96: :s96: :s96: :s96: :s96:
 

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This article makes me so made!! All of this bull shit pisses me off about quads being sooooooo dangerous. Sure there dangerous but that doesnt mean people shoudnt ride them. I mean im 6' and im 14, how can i ride a darn 90??!!!!! This darn 350 is almost too small for me. The person that wrote this article should go ride a atv and if she doesnt enjoy it then ill light my quad on fire. I'm half tempted to call that number at the bottom and give a good scream at this author. Its people like her that give atv riding a bad name. People like her that got trikes put out of production.

Its the idiots that dont know how to ride a atv that get hurt. Its the parents fault there letting there kids ride atvs, Not the atv's fault.


:s96: :s96: :s96:
 

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I'm a father of two small children, We as a family own 3 quads and 2 dirt bikes. The bottom line is NO recreational vehicle is a substitute for parental supervision. :s96:
PARENTS not ATV manufacturers must use good judement on how early, when, where and to what extent CHILDREN (sorry guys, anyone under 18) are permitted to use recreational vehicles. Accidents happen on anything when children are allowed to operate outside their ability. Going through college I was an E.M.T.. I can't tell you how many kids I seen with broken arms, missing teeth, broken legs, lacerated faces, from skate boards and bicycles. No-one can convince me that riding a skate board/inline skates at a skate park is safer that atv'ing with proper protective gear and parenting.
Ignorance of a subject is truly sad. :(
 

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actually i think this article has been the best one iv seen so far. Although i dont agree with the under 16 no atv thing. hell im 15 and am on a yfz, its all about experiance, been riden since i was 5 and started on a 250 cc yamaha. The thing that kept me safe was that my dad didnt let me ride alone for YEARS. i have never had a major aaccident on any atv that iv ever had.

This article is good though. This has been the first one that has said both sides of the story. They said that the number of riders has risen dramaticaly and the comparasion on injuries with other sports.

90cc haha id break it in half.

Dont worry guys, they cant fight and we will fight right back
 

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isn't this funny, these issues are the same ones that got the trikes banned, but they blamed them on the design of trikes and not rider abilty, weight, etc. The one that really gets me is the adult who buys the biggest, fastest quad they can with no idea how to ride it. they get hurt and start streaming how dangerous they are. If you ride at chattsworth in NJ, you will see lots of this. The mid 30's parent who buys the raptor and the kid with the raptor 80 and the parent has no idea how to ride the bike and then teaches the kid the wrong way, you gotta see the dumb things the kids do, Ie: cut infront of you in-front of a jump, speed up and nearly stop at the slightest turns, don't look and cut infront of you when you are trying to pass, some are even so dumb to block you from pasing them and the parents ENCOURAGE it. I had some parents preach/yell at me for riding my very hopped up 250r trike. I told one "and you think letting your 12 year ride a 250r is safe", another "you need to teach your kid to look before he moves over and the stay out of the jumping lane", of course this was after he yelled at me for almost hititng his kid, when the kid cut infront of me when I was speeding up for the jump. I was going almost 60 and this kid cuts right infront of me. I've also almost hit some adults for similar dumb stuff. When you are in top of 4th and mid 5th on any 250cc+ bike(especailly a hopped up 250r(trike or quad) STAY THE F OUT OF THE WAY. I could go on for days about the dumb stuff, how people get so angry when I smoke them on my trike, preaching how dangerous they are. Just ask yourself "would you get on the freeway and pull imeadiatey in the left lane with your car, proceding to cut off many car and almost causing accidents??" well, on the track its the same way.
 

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ckoenig399 said:
Just ask yourself "would you get on the freeway and pull imeadiatey in the left lane with your car, proceding to cut off many car and almost causing accidents??" well, on the track its the same way.
Here in Los Angeles it seems to be how everyone drives. lol
I do have sympathy for the children that got hurt on there ATV. Now they will my miss out on all the fun because they are too scared to ride now. I am not an animal, you have to be symathitic. BUT, my brother is 16 and when he was 15 there was no way he could ride anything smaller than a 250ex. But, all we had was the warriors and so he learned on that with baby steps and constant supervision. He is much better at riding now but not to the point where I'm going to take him to Glamis, are you f**king crazy. Don't get me wrong, I love Glamis but it is not place for newbies. If they really want to pass some law or whatever, you know they easily could with all the non-knoledgable parents out there that would vote yes. If there was a choice between having a law or having different age requirements then I could see that. Maybe 10 and under 90cc with 11-16 150cc bikes. It may seem as tho the 150cc bikes should be 4 strokes because they are more managable, but that will get an arguement too.
I love modifing my truck past legal, my quad too loud for some, my speed accessive, and my weed strong. To hell with the rest of you journalist!
 
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