Riding an ATV gets kids outdoors and keeps them active. It teaches them great vehicle control skills and spatial awareness that will benefit them later in life when they operate a vehicle on the road.
The following are some factors to consider before allowing a child to ride an ATV:
Can they place both feet on the footrests while sitting on the seat?
Can they reach the handlebars, grips & brakes even when the bars are turned?
Can they reach the foot controls?
Do they have the strength to operate the controls?
Do they have the physical, mental, social development and decision-making ability to operate a powered vehicle?
Do they have a proper fitting helmet and protective gear?
Youth-sized ATVs are divided and labelled as follows:
Y6+ – is a youth model ATV designed for kids 6+ years of age and is restricted to 16 km/h top speed.Y
10+ – is a youth model ATV designed for kids 10+ years of age and is restricted to 24 km/h top speed.
Y12+ – is a youth model ATV designed for kids 12+ years of age and is restricted to 32 km/h top speed.
Category T (transition models for teens who are 14 and 15 years old, (with adult supervision): Maximum speed of 32 km/h
Once you decide that your child is ready to ride an ATV, sign them up for a hands-on ATV course. Many provincial rider federations offer courses specifically for children and youth. You can find out more about the courses and register through the Canadian Quad Council CASI program.
Kids must wear a helmet when operating or riding on an ATV. Other recommended gear include eye protection (goggles), gloves, long sleeve shirts, full pants and supportive boots with a fastening mechanism that won’t allow the boots to fly off. Also, do not allow more than one rider on a machine designed for a single occupant.
Once kids are riding, remember to supervise their adventure. Educate yourself about ATVs, especially your child’s ATV. The owner’s manual is the best source of information. Pay particular attention to warning labels. Avoid unsafe situations. Kids can become tired and inattentive quickly and may not see potential hazards. Your close supervision can keep them safe. You can either download or order Parents, Youngsters and All-Terrain Vehicles and/or Parents, Youngsters and Off-Highway Motorcycles.