Protection During a Fall
The most basic piece of ATV safety equipment is protection for the most vulnerable part of the body; the head. It also happens to be the part of the body that usually travels the furthest in a fall.
In many types of crashes, the head is often whipped to the ground after the back, shoulders or chest hits the ground, so the speeds are even greater.
Protection From Debris
A helmet doesn't just protect the head from damage in a fall. It also protects the head from flying debris such as rocks, dirt and branches.
When riding in groups it is especially good protection to wear a safety helmet. Debris from other ATV riders can be thrown up from tires and hit riders behind them.
Protecting the Eyes, Ears, Mouth and Nose
A safety helmet protects the head from a fall and from flying rocks and other debris. It also protects all the holes in a head, like the ears, mouth, nose and when goggles are used, the eyes.
A motocross helmet has a guard that extends in front of the mouth and has a rise in the middle to protect the nose. There is plenty of room in between the mouth/nose and the guard compared to a street helmet that makes it easier to, say, drink water from a Camel Bak.
Strapping on a safety helmet is a good idea for anyone when they're riding an ATV, but it's especially important to make sure children ALWAYS wear a helmet when riding.
Children don't know any better. They don't understand how badly they can get hurt without it. It's up to parents to protect their children.
The bottom line is that the amount of protection a good safety helmet provides when you're riding an ATV is substantial and you are many many times more likely to walk away from a crash wearing a helmet than not.