A national expert on children’s safety says all-terrain vehicles, or “A-T-V’s” designed to make life easier are causing trouble because of misuse by kids. Chris Hannah of the Childrens Safety Network analyzed information on A-T-V’s in Iowa. He says they analyzed three years of fatality data and found 25 deaths involving A-T-V’s in Iowa. And he says the thing they don’t know is how many disabling injuries, near misses, untreated injuries and emergency room visits there are associated with A-T-V’s. Hannah says there are now more A-T-V’s in the state than tractors. Hannah says the vehicles can be a valuable and safe tool for use on Iowa farms. But he says when children get on the A-T-V’s and are unsupervised by adults, injuries happen. He says they know that 95-percent of the injuries to children involve kids who were too small to be on the A-T-V. Hannah says the four and three-wheeled vehicles appear to be large bikes or scooters, but he says there’s much more to them. He says what’s unusual about A-T-V’s is that they’re “rider active” — you have to be actively involved and know how to ride them and shift your weight. And he says the vehicles are sometimes taken where they aren’t meant to go. He says they’re not designed to go on pavement, and he says about half the fatalities in Iowa to children happen when they’re riding on or crossing public roads. Hannah says parents should take time to teach children the proper way to ride an A-T-V and supervise children when they do ride. He says the Iowa Department of Natural Resources offers safety courses for riders.
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