Go Kart Safety Tips for Your Children
David Cline, emergency medical specialist at Wake Forest University Baptists Medical Center, advises that many parents aren’t aware of the potential dangers of private go karts. Cline also warns that many of the injuries sustained in go kart accidents are severe. Whether you’re allowing your children to drive a go kart, ATV or scooter, there are important safety tips that you must insist they follow:
Before your child gets on or in any motorized vehicle, check their clothing. Clothing worn while riding should be snug, not loose and flapping in the breeze. Loose clothing can get caught in wheels and mechanisms, causing strangulation or other injury. In addition to being tight-fitting, tops should have long sleeves and pants should reach the ankle. In the instance that your child falls from the vehicle, their legs and arms will be better protected.
A helmet must be worn each time your child is operating or riding on a motorized vehicle. There is no exception to this rule if you want to ensure your child’s safety. Many motorized vehicles are made much safer simply when the operator and passenger wear helmets. It doesn’t matter if your child is riding on a closed track, through your back yard or on the road: spills and falls happen. A helmet can protect your child from traumatic brain injury and even from death.
When you are looking to purchase a go kart, make sure that you only buy one that has a safety harness installed. It’s not unusual to find used go karts that have had harnesses cut out or otherwise removed by owners. Your child should be required to buckle himself in to the seat each time he rides. A harness will hold your child inside of the vehicle in the event of a roll over or a propelling type of accident.
It’s typical for children to want to compete with one another and show each other who’s the bravest. Talk to your child about driving at speeds that are comfortable for her. There’s no shame in driving a go kart at speeds that are slower and safer. Chances of an accident are increased at higher speeds, particularly if your child isn’t comfortable driving at those speeds. If your child is aching to drive faster, offer to give her lessons, or have a professional do so, in order to boost her confidence behind the wheel.
While go karts don’t use much gas, they can still catch fire under the right conditions. If your child races in competitions, be sure that he is wearing a fire safety suit, fire-retardant gloves and special racing shoes. In fact, these items may be required of your child by the racing coordinators.
Go karts are relatively safe; this article shouldn’t scare you into not purchasing one. Just like your kids should be wearing a helmet and protective clothing on their bicycles, they should be required to do the same in or on their motorized vehicles. Don’t give your children a choice; safe-riding habits should be a requirement for your children’s continued enjoyment of their vehicle.
Jeff Kane writes articles for extreme sports blogs. Summertime is more fun when you have the right "toys" to enjoy the season. At Kenzie Powersports you can find a vast selection of vehicles for vacation memories.