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About every 3 or 4 omonths, we get a post like this... Which really concerns me.. and many others about the age which we "Initiate" our children into the sport. I am going to save you the lecture.. I am sure you have read all the material.. Looked at all the stats etc.. and made the decision to go forward with the purchase anyway.
I'd like you to think about a couple things. First, the child will not be permitted to ride anywhere other than your back yard in most states. Which is OK.. Just please make sure you throttle it down, and remove all, and I mean Everything they may run into. That includes fence posts, trees etc. It may be questionable whether little 4 year old hands can manage to pull on the brake levers.. so make sure you get one with foot brakes. I'd recommend an electric model personally for this age...
Nope.. I can't let this go... This really bothers me alot... give them a couple more years to grow up and get stronger.. and mature a little so that when they are faced with an emergency condition, they are able to recognize it.. and react to it.
I am sorry... but I have read just too many injury reports on kids under 6 riding ATV's. They are just not equipped with the brain power at this age to handle them... Holding on to the bars and working the throttle is only part of the deal. Statistically speaking.. the possibility that they will be injured is exponentially higher the younger they are. Unfortunately, we all get a black eye when we read about some kid getting killed by a 250 lb ATV when it rolled over on top of them.. Usually with a friend or relative on the back...
And before I get the howling masses attacking me and telling me that their wonder child started at X age... let me just say that they were lucky that their child survived the beginner years. Children place a lot of trust in their parents... Not to put them in danger etc... It is tough being a parent and having to say no. Those that know me understand my passion for child safety.. so take it for what it is worth. I made teh same assumption and mistake myself when my youngest was 6... and have regretted the whole thing ever since.
Sorry.. and with no intention of upsetting anyone... Just re-stating my own personal opinion... Yours may vary, and may God walk with you and your child if you choose to proceed....
Funny that you mention the electric ones. My neighbor's gas powered little quad goes slower than my electric one and it is also smaller in overall size, not to mention his gas powered one has a softer ride and is more stable. It also runs longer without charging it and barely costs more to buy it. The power wheels quad goes 5-1/2 mph and the gas powered one can be turned down to 2 mph. If the grass is damp at all, the plastic wheels have no grip at all and the steering can be sluggish as the front wheels have trouble grabbing in the wet grass. The driveway wears the tires down in a hurry also. It's hard to justify paying 300 bucks for an electric power wheels version that is faster (at first) and then is out grown by the child in a hurry. Just another way to look at it.
You are probably right on both counts. I can't say I have experience with the electrics personally... The real thing is that nobody is reporting injury stats on the electric models... and that may give the false impression that they are safer... Plus there is currently no legislation that governs their use that I can think of. Thanks for the update.
Since you are probably going to buy one anyway, here is the best little quad for youngsters. It has a 2 spped module that you can adjust from 0-10mph or up to 15mph. The brake handles are easy to grab. It has a remote kill sswitch. It has risers on the foot pags for smaller kids. I bought this one on my kids 6 year old birthday, and he loves it. He was only 34 inches inches at the time, but had alot of experience with the electric quads.
You are probably right about people not reporting accidents on the electrics. Parents really need to know their childs ability and they absolutely need to be CLOSELY SUPERVISED. A little common sense can go a long way. I've seen some 4 year olds that can easily handle a little quad and I've seen some 7 year olds with no clue at all.
our daughter also has a lot of experience on the electrics. We bought her that itty bitty quad from walmart that is for one year olds when she was one. she has since gone through all of the electrics out there. she is 4 now and we will probably look for one like my neighbors or just buy his. We have an acre of flat land so it's nice for her to put around on and learn. Will be nice when we can finally take her out some where but that is a couple of years away still. so she will have to be content with the yard for now. She already thinks she is luke duke and she calls her ride the general lee. I knew I shouldn't have let her watch those dukes of hazzard shows! [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif[/img]
That is what I liked about the remote kill fey-fob. If he was going too fast, or not looking, you can kill the engine from 100 feet away. It kills it while you hold the button, and re-starts when you let go. Unless they come to a complete stop, then it dies for good. The 2 stroke keeps it running.
Yeah, my neighbor has a mini 90 from wicked rocket. Remote kill/start and two lanuards. It's a 90cc but is about the size of the meercat 50. And it can be turned down to 2 mph. His daughter has outgrown it so he would probably sell it for a steal! He's never had any trouble with it. Plus my daughter loves it because it is pink with flames. don't see too many of those around. I believe it is the same 90cc that you see everybody else sell. It's made in china but if you aren't a complete idiot, you can maintain it pretty well. He's had it three years and never had a problem. I do love the remote!
It is good to see other parents that are acting responsibly and being extremely attentive and involved with the training of their children. It is not that I do not approve so much.. it is that there are a significant number of trusting souls out there that do not listen, are not aware.. or just do not care about the safety aspect of these little rockets.
Even at slow speeds, they can and do roll over. We can mitigate the dangerrs by adding wheel spacers to make them wider, we can dress our kids in every safety device known to man.. We can even throttle them down to slug-speed and they still will find a way to get hurt.
You are right, that we cannot keep them safe.. that we cannot prevent all accidents from occuring. But we CAN be there and control their training experiences so they can learn how to react when they do find that land mine just waiting to bite them in the back yard.... THAT I think is the most important element to a small child's successful riding experience... an educated, attentive parent that is sharing the learning experience and letting the child learn at their own pace and not forcing them to go faster/ jump higher and WIN WIN WIN at all cost. Keep the fun element at the forefront at all times.