A Kid Safe Approach

As we all know there are risks involved with youth Dirt Bike & A.T.V. riding. But not everyone knows how to limit many of those risks. First you need to be aware of them, and then you can manage them. And if you do the risk of serious injury is actually quite low.

Kids at motocross school.To dramatically reduce the risk to your child while riding a Dirt Bike or A.T.V. there are five very specific and easy to do things. I’m going to tell you the “Five Keys To Kid Safe Riding” in a minute. But I want to take a moment to drive one point home first.

Which is that riding is simply not as dangerous as many people think it is. Not when the right approach is taken.

As with any sport where helmets are worn, (and even ones that don’t), there are risks. Cart racing, football, hockey, baseball, bicycling, and yes; even basketball, soccer, and many, many more, all carry risk.

And the sport of motocross is certainly no exception. But unfortunately many people get the wrong idea about it. They think motocross is just a bunch of daredevils, out there on there own, taking senseless risks.

When actually it’s a tight knit group of highly safety conscious people who enjoy participating in an activity which demands a carefully measured approach.

So if your kids are thinking of taking up the sport. Or are riding already. Then that’s awesome! But make sure they are following:

The Five Keys To Kid Safe Riding

  1. Proper Bike Size.
  2. Wear Appropriate Safety Equipment.
  3. Adult Supervision.
  4. Regular Practice.
  5. No Double Riding.

Proper Bike Size. Too many people get this one wrong. You’re buying your kid a bike/quad. Not shoes. Growing room is not the way to go here. Start small and work your way up.

Safety Equipment. You definitely need a helmet, boots, and goggles. After that, it depends on what you’re doing exactly. But you’re probably going to need some other gear too.

Adult Supervision. I could probably write a whole book on the benefits of adult supervision. It’s obviously very important, as I’m sure you’re well aware. Kids need almost constant supervision. And this is certainly not the time to start doing otherwise.

Regular Practice. This one is, perhaps, a little less obvious than the others. But no less important. Back when I used to jump out of planes, we called this “currency”. And besides the parachute on your back, it was the most important thing. Simply put, regular practice, or currency, makes the proper responses reflexive. As opposed to, “ok this just happened, so now I.. ummm…do this”. Yeah it depends a little on how fast you are going. But thought processes like that usually take too long. And that is why currency makes you a much safer rider. And it seriously accelerates your learning curve too!

Motocross FamilyNo Double Riding. Vehicles designed for one passenger should only have one passenger. This is mainly an a.t.v/quad problem. But it applies to everyone. And it is one of the leading causes of serious injuries. So don’t do it.

Go Beyond The Keys

By following those tried and true guidelines, fundamentals really, you will have gone a very long way in making a potentially dangerous sport safe.

And you may even find yourself enjoying what some people consider to be one of the most thrilling aspects of the sport. The process of learning to control and limit the risks, and getting them into a much more acceptable range.

So keep on educating yourself. Follow the 5 Keys. Use them as a starting point. And stay on the lookout for ways to become even safer.

Here are a few more quick safety tips to help you keep your kid safe while riding a dirt bike or quad.

  • Take advantage of your tracks motocross school, or a.t.v. safety course, once in awhile. If they offer one.
  • Talk to an employee and/or other people at the track first and ask if it’s a kid friendly track. (Or if they have a Pee Wee track). These days most tracks are set up to be safe for young and novice riders, while remaining challenging for the more experienced riders. But some are serious training facilities, with advanced track set-ups, and a highly competitive atmosphere.
  • If you’re going fast or jumping then make doubly sure your suspension is set up properly. If you’re on an old bike, get a newer one. And if you cant, get that old suspension redone.
  • Tracks with Flaggers are nice because everyone is alerted when a rider goes down.
  • Roll unfamiliar tracks first, and even familiar ones! It’s important to check to see if any of the obstacles have been changed. And take notice of the dirt conditions.
  • Know your limitations, and stop when you’re getting tired or sloppy.
  • Watch out for peer pressure. And don’t ever push the envelope until YOU feel ready.
  • Maintain your bike/a.t.v. Go over it before every ride. Check for worn out parts, loose screws, proper chain tension, tire pressure, etc.

And lastly, have fun! (As if you could do otherwise.) Ha haa!! BRAAAHP!!

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