My daughter is a conventional teenager with keen interest in sports. Academically, I am never too worried for her – she does well. Recently, she has been mixing around with lots of friends who owns and rides ATVs actively. These youths are not irresponsible, as far I can tell but I know that it won’t be long before she starts asking for a youth ATV herself. Not knowing anything about ATVs, I started looking around for information on how to keep youths and kids safe on ATVs. I’ve read countless reports and news about youth and kids’ deaths related to ATV riding…naturally, as a parent, I was deeply concerned. Images of her spinning around on an ATV or crashing goes through my head whenever I think of her asking for an ATV of her own. I went online into ATV forums and message boards and have consulted with some other parents with youths who are into ATV riding and they have given me many tips on how to handle my daughter who is in her prime youth years.
The thing is that I know it would be unfair and unreasonable for me to say ‘no’ to her. She will probably ride her friends’ ATVs without my knowledge anyway, that way, so, the best approach, for me, was to concede. Many parents told me that this was what they had to do. What they told me was that I should contact the ATV Safety Institute for more information on how to teach my daughter how to ride an ATV safely. And I signed my daughter up for one of ATV Safety Institute’s safety courses. It’s only a half-a-day lesson and it’s very comprehensive, though. A qualified ATV instructor taught my daughter how to ride the ATV proper, the basic safety rules and the kind of youth safety equipment and apparel she has to wear before she swings a leg over an ATV. I guess it was fun and informational for my daughter during the ATV safety course because she attended the course with four of her cliques. A good thing too, I would say.
It’s always good that we enroll the kids and youth into ATV safety courses before they even start riding one. The reason is that if they’ve never ridden an ATV before, they don’t have bad habits to kick and we’re starting on a clean slate. Therefore, instructors will always encourage parents to start sending their youth and kids to ATV safety courses before getting their kids their own ATVs.
All in all, I think my kid’s ready to roll now that she knows the basic rules. Although it doesn’t guarantee me that my daughter will never get into accidents, it at least promises me that the risk of my daughter being seriously injured should an accident happen with her ATV is low. That’s all I need to know…and besides, I can’t hold her hand forever and protect her. She’s a youth now, and has every right to enjoy her life the way she wants to. Now, whenever she takes her ATV out for a spin with her friends, I am less concerned.