Gas-Powered vs. Electric-Powered ATVs
Before deciding on a vehicle, be aware of the huge differences between the gas-powered and the electric-powered four-wheeler.
Power. Gas-powered ATVS go faster. You need gas or diesel to power up a gas-powered four-wheeler. To use an electric ATV, you need to charge it for several hours first.
Durability and Price. Electric-powered four-wheelers are cheaper compared to gas-powered. But they have less power than gas-powered ATVs. Gas-powered ATVs are more durable and tend to last longer, even if used in difficult terrain.
Reliability. A four-wheeler run by electricity can't go on a long trip as its power is limited; fully charged, it can go five miles, or perhaps more, before its charge runs out.
It's your decision whether to buy a gas or electric ATV, but you have to consider your child on this one, especially if your child is aged 3–10 years old. An electric ATV may be safer for a smaller child.
Size. Not just the size of the engine or battery, but the vehicle's overall dimensions and weight. Is this an ATV that your kid can actually get a hold of and control?
Where to Buy ATVs for Kids
You can buy four-wheelers online or at physical stores.
When you are buying for a child, you have to pay attention to every detail, so buy their first ATV at a physical shop so you can see if the product meets your safety requirements and if the size suits your child. The most trustworthy shops are run by companies that have been in business for a long time and sell worldwide.
Are Your Kids Ready to Drive a Four-Wheeler?
Before letting a child drive a four-wheeler, you should evaluate the physical, mental, and emotional state of the child.
Physical State. Is your kid large enough and strong enough to ride a four-wheeler? The child must be large enough to stand on the floorboards and reach the control levers while seated.
Mental State. Assess whether the child already knows the basic safety rules for riding a four-wheeler and is mature enough to understand that safety matters.
Emotional State. Children can be emotional, and that can lead to recklessness. Strong emotions such as anger, excitement, or others can affect the ability of the child to drive the four-wheeler safely. Don't let your child drive unless he or she is calm and emotionally stable.
Safety Precautions and Equipment for Kids
The first factor that you have to consider is safety. Children riding ATVs need to be aware of safety standards, and more importantly, you do, to avoid injuries.
Wearing protective equipment. Kids riding a four-wheeler must wear protective equipment at all times: a helmet, goggles, gloves, elbow pads, and knee pads.
Seatbelts must always be connected. Seatbelts will prevent the child from falling to the ground and can minimize injuries.
Controlled speed only. Don’t let your kid choose the speed that will be applied. As a parent, you must always keep the speed controlled and suitable for their age, to avoid accidents.
Parental supervision. If your kids are going for a drive, you must always supervise them. There must always be an adult around when kids drive the four-wheeler.
To make safety more interesting, you can work with your child to construct your own rules and regulations for driving the four-wheeler, the specific time when they can drive, and other things that you can add too.
1. Don't carry passengers; one seat means one driver.
2. Don't show off, trying out stunts and driving recklessly.
3. Improve visibility with reflectors and flags.
4. Avoid roads. ATVs' tires aren't built to withstand paved roads, plus it's unsafe.
And before you start, be sure and check the manufacturer's specific safety rules in the model's manual.
As a parent, you must know the top speed that your child will be using while on the four-wheeler. If your four-wheeler has a speed adjuster you can set the top speed to what you like.
If your child is only starting and just 3 to 10 years old, you can set the speed between 2.5 mph to 5 mph. You should start slow first and let them get used to the four-wheeler. As your child progresses, you can also increase the speed a little bit, but still within the speed of 2.5 to 5 mph. By enforcing this speed limit you are promoting safety.
That you have bought your child a four-wheeler does not mean that they are in control of the vehicle; you are. You must enforce responsible driving for the kid, by correcting every inappropriate or unsafe action. You must also control the speed so it is suitable for your kid’s age. Anything can happen, and you should be there to enforce parental control when needed. And when things are going well, lay off a little bit, while letting your child know that you are still watching.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.