Alberta Health Services wants to make sure Grande Prairie parents and youth are safe on the trails this year. It has released a number of ATV safety tips in the hopes of preventing the injuries and tragedies seen last year in Alberta.
“Last year across the province we had 78 children show up at pediatric emergency departments and unfortunately one died. Every year we get one or two children that unfortunately dies and we know no parent wants to go through that so it’s better to prevent then be a part of that,” says AHS Medical Officer of Health Dr. Albert de Villiers.
The biggest message de Villiers wants to get across is that even though they make ATVs for children, no one younger than 16 should be riding the vehicles.
“We’ve seen that most people that get seriously injured on ATVs are kids. Even the small ones that are saying teen-friendly, it’s still a dangerous vehicle and they’re still heavy. If you think a little 8 or 9-year-old and it flips over and falls on top of them it can still seriously injure them.”
For those 16 and older AHS recommends getting trained on safe driving and practice those skills each season, wear the proper riding gear, buckle up, pay attention to your surroundings and always drive sober.