A lot of parents nowadays are not sure if it is a good idea to let their children ride a dirt bike. Although there are a lot of dirt bikes that are designed specifically for children, many parents still wonder if dirt bikes are really safe for kids.
Dirt bike riding is safe for kids, but only if the right safety precautions are taken. While dirt bike riding can be dangerous for anyone, some simple protective measures can make it a lot safer and help minimize the risks.
It is quite normal for parents to have concerns about the dangers of riding dirt bikes. But you should also realize that it can bring lifelong passion and enjoyment to a child. Below, we have provided a list of safety equipment and tips to make dirt bike riding safe for your kids.
6 Tips For Safe Dirt Bike Riding
1. Find A Suitable Size Of Bike
One of the first things you need to know before you even buy a dirt bike is that you must pay attention to its size. If you buy a dirt bike that doesn’t suit the height of your child, he/she might not be able to control it properly. So, try to arrange a test ride for your child before you buy, to make sure it’s the right size.
2. Never Ride On Roads
You must never allow your child to ride their dirt bike on roads. Dirt bikes are not meant to be ridden on roads, and breaking this rule puts your child’s life in great danger. Therefore, we highly recommend riding on tracks that are designed for dirt bike riding and try to go to beginner-friendly tracks too.
3. Use The Right Safety Equipment
As parents, the most important thing you can do to keep your child safe on a dirt bike is to purchase protective equipment. You should never try to save money on safety equipment. Instead, aim for high-quality helmets and other safety gear, and always buy from reputable suppliers.
4. Pay Attention To Speed
Riding at high speeds is very dangerous. High speeds make it easier to lose control, and accidents become more likely. Although this can happen to advanced riders as well, beginners need to pay the most attention to their speed. So, make sure to limit the speed at which your child will be riding, and this will make it much safer.
5. Avoid Riding In The Rain
The risk of accidents significantly increases in areas that are rainy, full of potholes, debris and mud. Just like riding at high speeds, riding in the rain can easily cause a rider to lose control. So, we don’t recommend you allow your kids to ride in the rain, or when it’s been raining a lot and the tracks are still extremely slippery.
6. Always Check The Bike Before Riding
A lot of people forget to check their dirt bikes before riding. This is a very common mistake that can lead to a disaster. If the tires are not in good condition, or if the brakes are heavily worn, your child could easily lose control and get hurt, so always make sure to check everything is in order before your child gets on the bike.
Dirt Bike Accident Statistics
It’s worth knowing some statistics about dirt bike riding before you let your kid get on the bike for the first time. Age is a significant factor in any sport, but you should note that the highest rate of nonfatal accidents involved children between 12 and 15 years old, according to the CDC.
Between 2001 and 2004, nearly 90% of casualties from dirt bike riding were male. The CDC also found that more than 70% of all incidents occurred in a natural environment, while only around 20% happened in Motocross.
Below, we list some other important pieces of safety equipment you need to invest in if you want your child to be able to ride a dirt bike safely.
7 Key Pieces Of Safety Equipment For Dirt Bike Riding
As we said above, 3 out of 5 dirt bike related deaths happened because riders didn’t have their helmets on. So, it’s obvious that helmets are definitely the most important part of safety equipment your child should wear. Make sure you buy one that fits properly and is made of the right materials to protect them if they crash.
2. Back And Chest Protection
Body protection is as essential as a helmet when it comes to protective equipment for children. While looking for a chest protector, try to find a model with integrated shoulder, core, and back protection.
3. Jersey And Pants
This part of the equipment can be worn both under and over the body protective pads. Depending on what kind of riding pants you buy, you might have to buy knee guards separately. Some riding pants and jerseys come with integrated knee guards.
4. Kidney Belt
Kidney belts are also a very important part of protective clothing, even for children. As safety equipment has advanced quite a lot over the years, it’s no longer uncommon for riders to wear kidney belts. They protect both your lower back and your core during impacts.
Eye protection is also a very important part of safety equipment for dirt bike riding. Dirt and sand can easily get into your eyes while riding, potentially causing you to lose control of the bike. When buying eye protection, you should aim for a high-quality lens, and ensure they fit comfortably, as any discomfort will only distract your child when they’re riding.
Although you may think that boots are unnecessary and that sneakers can do the job just as well, this is not the case. Dirt bike riding in sneakers can actually be quite dangerous, especially while riding at high speeds. They often don’t offer enough grip, and so proper dirt bike boots are a must.
Wearing gloves while riding a dirt bike comes with a lot of advantages. Not only will the gloves prevent a lot of dangerous injuries, but they will help against cuts and bruises as well. When buying gloves, aim for tough ones that canprotect your child’s knuckles from scratches and infections.
Ideal Places To Take Your Child For Dirt Bike Riding
Riding centers and dirt bike clubs are definitely a great choice if you are not sure where to take your child to ride their dirt bike. There are professional trainers that teach children how to ride their bikes properly without getting hurt. This is a great way to ensure your child is ready for riding for the first time and knows how to properly control their dirt bike.
Parks are ideal places for dirt bike riding, especially if your child is between 3 and 8 years old. Still, you must make sure that the park has no cracks or holes in the ground and that it is properly maintained. In order to use the park, you may need special permission. So, don’t go riding through your local park without first making sure it’s okay to do so.
There are a lot of trails nowadays that are specifically designed for dirt bike riding. But, before you take your child to a public trail or a trail adapted for dirt bikes, you need to ensure that the trail isn’t going to be too advanced or dangerous for your child’s experience and skill level.
Most Common Dirt Bike Injuries
The arms, neck, and head are the most commonly affected areas in dirt bike accidents. These are the areas that are commonly injured in other motorsports as well. Some of the most common injuries related to dirt bike accidents include the following.
Broken wrists are a common result of falling off a dirt bike and are an extremely painful injury. Often, there may be multiple fractures, or it could just be one broken bone. As the injury is usually quite severe it can require surgery in order to realign the bones.
This injury, just like a broken wrist, can be the result of falling off a dirt bike. However, it can also be caused when a rider gets hit by another dirt bike. In order to realign the bones, it can also require surgery. If your wrists hurt when riding your dirt bike, you may need to seek medical attention.
Dislocation Of The Shoulder
In some very serious accidents, the shoulder joints can dislocate, or the collar bones can be fractured. This injury is among the most painful,and recovery time is determined by the severity of the accident. It can take anywhere from 12 to 16 weeks to fully recover from a dislocated shoulder.
Even though dirt bike riding can be quite dangerous for children, it doesn’t have to be if you take the right safety precautions. Wearing high-quality safety equipment is essential, and it significantly decreases the risks of injury even if your child is involved in an accident. As long as you take these precautions, dirt bike riding can be an excellent experience for your child!