When your kids want a set of wheels for zipping around the driveway and sidewalk, a battery-powered quad might be your first thought. Although designed for youngsters, these child-sized vehicles do require use of common sense and careful adherence to product instructions. Don’t forget to supervise your child’s driving time adequately as well.
Teaching Driving Skills
Fisher-Price, manufacturer of some battery-powered quad toys, advises that children within the recommended age group for the quad can learn and develop the driving skills necessary to operate the vehicle. Teaching a child how to operate the quad safely does take adult interaction and teaching, however. As you introduce a child to driving a quad, plan to spend time explaining and demonstrating how to operate the vehicle and supervising your child. Without adequate teaching of driving skills and reinforcement of the skills, children may not operate the quad safely, which could result in injury.
Teach Safety Rules
Institute firm safety rules for the use of the quad to ensure that your children use it in accordance with safety guidelines, advises Kathleen Alfano, Ph.D., with the KidsWheels.com website. Instruct your child never to use the vehicle without adult supervision. In addition, instruct your child to always sit on the seat, wearing shoes, while driving the vehicle. Children should also only use the quad during daylight hours.
Assessment of Driving Area
Check the driving area carefully where your child will operate the vehicle. The area should be level without steep inclines that could cause a rollover or could cause your child to gain too much speed. The area should also not include any bodies of water, which could pose an unsafe area for your child if she accidentally drives the quad into the water. The driving area should also not place the quad near moving vehicles, which could cause a collision.
Direct adult supervision is the key to safe use of a battery-powered quad by children. Even after a child learns the basics of driving and understands safety rules, the child may not have mature judgment necessary for avoiding serious accidents and injury. Adults should stay vigilant and involved as a child uses a quad to ensure that the child does not make a life-threatening mistake.
Install the battery into the battery compartment of the car correctly to secure it, advises Fisher-Price. Every time you charge the battery and install it back into the car, examine it to ensure you do not see excessive wear or battery leaks from the connectors. Do not use a battery that shows signs of wear or leaking. Never allow a child to access the battery or to come into contact with battery acid, or severe burns could result from the battery acid.