Parents love to see their children happy, and for some, that means watching as their kids take lap after lap on the motocross track. But what’s even more important than keeping children smiling is keeping them safe, and when it comes to motocross, nothing is more important than protecting your family.
So, what exactly does your little rider need to stay protected? We’re going to cover it all.
There’s no piece of protective gear more important than a helmet, and if you have some wiggle room in your budget, this is definitely where you want to splurge.
An open-face helmet is the best bet because it has both safety and comfort as its perks. The helmet will go from ear to ear by way of the chin or jawline, and it’s a lot more protective than a bike or bucket helmet.
There are full-face helmets that provide even more protection, but they can get pretty hot and uncomfortable for children. While the helmet may be more protective, that discomfort can be distracting for riders, which isn’t safe.
Also, there are plastic pieces that can attach to a bucket or bike helmet to turn it into an open-face helmet, but those pieces tend to break off or fall off, which negates their safety effectiveness.
Lastly, the fit of the helmet is important. Motocross helmets shouldn’t be uncomfortably tight, but they shouldn’t be so loose that they move around as your child’s head moves, either. It’s best to try on helmets in person before making a purchase, but if you do buy online, just make sure that the company has a good return and exchange policy.
Boots are the second most important type of gear to get for your motocross-loving child. Boots keep your kid’s ankles, feet and toes safe while riding, as motocross can be pretty rough on the feet if the right footwear isn’t worn. (And it should go without saying, but never let your kid ride in sandals.)
Children are especially prone to foot injury when riding because they have a tendency to put their feet down if they feel something is going wrong. While they work on overcoming this natural reaction, their feet can stay as safe as possible with a solid, reliable pair of motocross boots.
Gloves will keep your child’s hands protected when they fall, which is inevitable if they’re a beginner rider. It’s less likely that their hands will get banged up, cut or scraped if they’re wearing gloves. And while riding the motocross bike, their hands are also vulnerable, as it’s easy to scrape them or get hit by something since they’re placed on the widest part of the bike. Plus, some riders are prone to blisters from gripping the handlebars, and gloves can prevent these as well. When purchasing gloves for your child, make sure they fit now – don’t buy gloves that they’ll eventually grow into, as ill-fitting gloves can be dangerous.
4. Pants and Jersey
Motocross pants protect your child’s legs and knees in the event of a fall, and there’s usually material on the inside of the pants to keep them cool while riding, too. Wondering why motocross pants are so heavy when the activity is so sweat-producing to begin with? Without thicker-material pants, the rider can burn their legs on the bike’s pipe should they fall over or even as they get on and off the bike. (This is why your kids should never, under any circumstances, wear shorts when riding.)
To top off the ensemble, opt for a jersey, which is great for riding in hot weather. And while lightweight, motocross jerseys do offer protection. Opt for a long-sleeve jersey to keep your child from getting scratched up during a ride.
5. Chest Protector
A chest protector isn’t 100% required for young riders, but it can help your child feel safer and more confident. For adult riders, chest protectors are used to protect against rocks or clods of dirt, but kids aren’t usually riding fast enough to have this sort of trouble. However, a chest protector can definitely help if your kid has a crash or slams into the handlebars, so it’s better to be on the safe side and suit up your little guy or girl in one.
Your child doesn’t need the most expensive, top-of-the-line goggles out there, but they do need something to keep their eyes protected while riding. And the better and faster your child gets at motocross, the more important goggles will be. Make sure you get them a pair of motocross goggles so dirt, dust, insects and distracting sunshine stay out of their eyes.
7. Elbow, Wrist and Knee Guards
While elbow, wrist and knee guards aren’t as important as the other items on this list, they will keep your child safer in the event of a fall or if any debris scratches them. Plus, they can help your kid feel safer, which means they might be more willing to get on their bike and learn how to ride.
Rounding things up
When it comes to motocross safety, toughing it out is a terrible approach. By having the right protective gear, kids can stay safe and ride confidently while having a blast. Also, you’ll instill good habits at an early age, which they’ll take with them if they grow into teens and adults who continue to love riding.
Can’t convince your kid that they should wear this all-important protective gear? Explain to them how it’ll make them a bit more daring because they’ll know they’re safe. If they want to try out a new trick or pick up their speed, they can do it confidently, which will make them a better and happier rider overall. Also, if they do have an accident, they’ll be able to recover much quicker and get back on their bike, thanks to all of that safety gear they put on before their ride.