Snowmobiles and Youth Safety Packet

Snowmobiles and Youth Table of Contents

 Child advocates and parents who snowmobile should be especially vigilant about the following practices:

  • Wear a certified helmet with face protection at all times
  • Prepare youth with the proper clothing for cold temperatures and maximum visibility
  • Always use the buddy system--never ride off alone or leave youth unsupervised
  • Avoid snowmobiling on bodies of water when you are uncertain about the conditions of the ice
  • Travel at moderate speeds, especially on unfamiliar terrain
  • Minimize snowmobiling during dawn, dusk, and dark
  • Travel on groomed trails when possible
  • Provide age-appropriate opportunities for safe youth participation in snowmobiling
  • Know the weather forecast and call ahead to check on the conditions of the trails you will be traveling
  • Avoid areas prone to snow avalanches

The magnitude and distribution of snowmobile-related morbidity, disability, and behavioral risk factors should be routinely monitored through public health surveillance systems

  • Hospital data should be based on external causes of injury (E-codes) [Off road E820.0-E820.9 and public highway E810.0-E819.9]
  • Promote collection of statewide injury data that includes helmet use, time of day, snow conditions, snowmobile make/model, alcohol involvement, location, and injury severity

State Maternal and Child Health agency staff should meet with staff of state agencies responsible for youth snowmobile training and enforcement to discuss methods to:

  • Promote snowmobiling as an enjoyable activity when proper precautions are taken
  • Promote cooperation between local public health agencies, state and local snowmobile clubs, and agencies responsible for enforcement of snowmobile regulations
  • Vigorously evaluate regulations and other interventions that potentially affect the risk of snowmobile-related injury
  • Tighten enforcement of violations by youthful offenders and adults who put youth at risk
  • Take the opportunity to offer the facts on childhood snowmobile-related injuries to snowmobile clubs, state organizations, or the media
  • Increase access and availability of operator safety education and safe riding opportunities
  • Establish and maintain a trauma system that is responsive to the needs of injured children and the off-trail nature of the sport
  • Promote regulations and equipment manufacturing safety standards that promote safe youth involvement in the sport
  • Work with hospitality, enforcement, and enthusiast interests to promote the safe and responsible use of alcohol by adults when snowmobiling
  • Work with advertising media to portray safe and age-appropriate snowmobile products and activities
  • Encourage the promotion of snowmobile injury prevention counseling as a component of routine health care

Develop guidelines that are age- and developmentally-appropriate for snowmobile operation by youth. Guidelines should also consider legal, medical, physical, cognitive, and cultural factors

Children's Safety Network Rural Center, 1000 North, Oak Avenue, Marshfield, WI 54449, 1-800-662-6900 Fax 715-389-4950

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More