Snowmobile safety: Snowmobiles pose a significant risk to children, adolescents and young adults. Head injuries are the leading cause of mortality (death) and serious morbidity (disease). They are due mainly to snowmobilers colliding, falling, or overturning. Children also are injured while being towed in a variety of conveyances by snowmobiles.
Although there is no uniform code of state laws governing the use of snowmobiles by children and youth, recommendations have been made in a Policy Statement on Snowmobiling Hazards by the American Academy of Pediatrics (Pediatrics, vol 106, pp 1142-1144, November 2000). These recommendations include but are not limited to the following points:
- The recreational operation of snowmobiles by persons younger than 16 years is NOT recommended.
- Snowmobiles should NEVER be used to tow persons on a tube, tire, sled, or saucer.
- A graduated licensing program is advised for ALL snowmobilers 16 years and older (just as is required in many states in the US for automobile drivers).