The death of a 6-year-old girl in New South Wales has prompted Australian surgeons to call for a ban of children on quad bikes on both sides of the Tasman.

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is urging the New Zealand and Australian governments to ban the bikes.

The girl was reported to have died on Monday after the quad bike she was riding on with another girl, 13, crashed into a tree. ABC reported it was the second death involving a young child in the past two months.

The RACS said Monday's tragedy took the quad bike toll in Australia to 115 since 2010 - a number it said was reflective of similar tragedies here in New Zealand.


Chairman Li Hsee said the ongoing harm caused to children on quad bikes had to stop.

"According to ACC figures, every year more than 100 children hurt themselves on off-road vehicles in New Zealand.

"Of these, around one fifth will be hospitalised, and tragically, between three and six will die."

He said in Australia the story was the same - since 2001 35 children 14 years or younger had been in an accident involving quad bike.

"These figures are quite frankly unacceptable for both of our countries," he said. "No family should have to experience such heartbreak."

He said the bikes' high centre of gravity and narrow wheelbase made them particularly unstable and prone to rolling even at low speeds.

"Quad bikes, even when operated by an adult, leave very little room for rider error. A lack of judgment, a lack of skill, or even a lack of body mass and physical strength, can result in death or serious injury."

Hsee said even child-sized quad bikes posed a risk and a child was still twice as likely to be injured on it as an older rider.


"It is quite clear that these things should not be considered toys.

"We therefore strongly believe that in both New Zealand and Australia there is considerable room for improvement in regard to quad bike safety - especially where it involves children."