Bike and ATV safety

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As the weather finally warms up, you are probably seeing more and more kids on bikes, and ATVs.

We want to take a moment to remind parents how important it is for kids to wear a helmet when they do either of those activities.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported last month that on average, more than 700 people are killed each year on ATVs and more than 135,000 more are injured. Many of those deaths were children, some under the age of 12.

It's critical that we remind parents to set safety rules for their children. Doctors at Riley Hospital for Children say they see too many ATV crash victims with severe injuries. They say many of those children, if not killed, are left neurotically devastated for life.

"ATVs are heavy they are very difficult for children to control and often times we find children climb onto an adult size ATV, and you see frequently small children who climb onto these and they just don't have physical strength or coordination and judgment to handle these and put them at a very high rate of speed and puts them at very high risk," said Dr. Robert Collins of Riley Hospital for Children.

In Indiana, no one under 14 years old can operate an ATV unless on his or her parent's land or under direct supervision of an adult. Also, all riders, young or old, should always wear a helmet on ATVs or bikes and skate boards.

Bike helmets are so important that the U.S. government has created safety standards for them. Your helmet should have a sticker that says it meets standards set by the CPSC. Also, if your helmet is damaged in any way, you need to get another one.