ACCC warns of quad bikes risks over festive season

AFTER 14 quad bike deaths in the past year, three of which were children 14 or younger, the consumer watchdog has warned of the risks the bikes pose.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission warned families using quad and dirt bikes during the festive break to put safety first.

A study last year found one in three emergency department presentations related to quad bikes involved children younger than 14.

Commission deputy chairwoman Delia Rickard said children should never ride adults' bikes, whether as passengers or drivers.

She said children "simply do not have the physical or cognitive capacity to safely operate a quad bike".

Ms Rickard urged parents to always consider safety including not riding near children, or taking them for rides on adult quad bikes.