A new campaign to raise awareness on the danger of children using ATVs was introduced yesterday as the number of children being killed and badly injured on quads continues to soar.
On the Victoria Day Weekend alone, the Stollery children’s hospital emergency department saw 12 patients with ATV injuries, six of them major traumas and three others listed as serious traumas.
Last year five Alberta children were killed on All Terrain Vehicles and hundreds more were injured, helping to push the Capital Health Kidsafe Connection and the Northern Lights Health Region to launch the Too Young to Drive, Too Young to Ride program, a campaign designed to raise awareness on the dangers of children and ATVs and to get younger riders off the machines.
“Kids can wear the safety gear but it doesn’t protect them from the reality that they do not have the strength, skills or judgment to be riding these vehicles,” said emergency physician Dr. Brian Dufresne. “It’s really very simple — if you’re too young to drive, you’re too young to ride.”
Dr. Don Voaklander, director at the Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research, said that the Alberta government, while now realizing the seriousness of the issue, trails the rest of the country when it comes to safety for children.
“Every other province has helmet legalization except for B.C and Alberta,” Voaklander said. “Fifty per cent of deaths were caused by head injuries.”