How Safe Are Your
I sit outside on the steps, a cup of hot tea in hand. The air
is beginning to cool. My kids are riding their bikes up and down
the driveway. Christina is chasing her sister. Laughter echoes in
the neighborhood. They are sisters, true to their form. I know
the love they have for each other, and I know the sibling rivalry
all too well from having two sisters of my own.
Down the road, I hear a 4-wheeler revving up the engine.
Within seconds, he's driving past our road, probably just under
the speed limit -which is 25 mph. He wears a baseball cap on his
head and wears shorts. He's only seven years old. I also notice
that his parents are not outside.
Millions of questions pop into
my head. Do they know that their son is outside? Do they know
he's on the 4-wheeler alone? Do they know he's not wearing a
helmet for the safety of his precious head? And yet, the
most important question, Do they know how safe he
In these days, I see many small children under the age of 12
playing outside alone with no adult supervision. We teach our
kids about stranger danger. We teach our kids about safety. But
nothing beats just being out there with our kids.
the University of Arkansas said that, based on 500 case histories
of young people treated after ATV(4-wheeler) accidents, children
younger than 16 should be barred from riding the vehicles.
"ATV use by children is intrinsically dangerous because of the
instability of the vehicles and the small size of children," they
said in a statement. About a fourth
of all U.S. ATV deaths - 120 in 2005 - involved kids under
the age of 16. An estimated 40,000 small children were treated in
emergency rooms that year for ATV-related injuries, according to
the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The American
Academy of Pediatrics also is on the record favoring barring ATV
use by those younger than
So, I ask you these questions: Do you know where your
children are? Do you know how safe they are?
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