The popularity of BMX biking has risen sharply in recent years, mimicking the widespread interest in skateboarding, and is often a sporting pastime of choice for children and teenagers. However, as with any kind of physical activity, there are risks attached. This doesn’t mean that you should discourage your children from getting involved because exercise has so many well-documented health and social benefits, but it does mean that you should be up to date on the relevant safety information, so that you can make your children aware of this.
As with skateboarding and rollerblading, the most important piece of safety gear for a BMX rider is the helmet. Your child’s helmet should be a bowl shape and made out of tough plastic. Getting the correct fit is essentially, so that it doesn’t slip down and obscure vision or come loose in the event of an accident. Knee and elbow pads are also recommended to protect against cuts and scrapes. In the summer months, encourage your child to wear gloves so that his or her grip on the handlebars isn’t compromised by perspiring hands.
It’s very important that you teach your child to respect his or her limits and ride at the correct level. Some tricks and stunts look easy, but in reality are very difficult to achieve. If your child is keen to show off to friends by attempting flips and spins that are outside their ability level, there’s a higher risk of them getting hurt. For practicing tricks, always use somewhere safe like a foam pit, so falls won’t result in injury.
Checking the Bike
Encourage your child to check his or her bike before going for a ride. This is a good habit to get into and will allow your child to spot any mechanical issues early on. Always check the brakes before riding or attempting any tricks. Remember that having a well-maintained bike will reduce the likelihood of an accident occurring.
If your child has shown interest in taking up BMX riding, make sure you’re aware of the potential risks but don’t forget to encourage them. Getting involved in a sport can be highly beneficial in teaching a young person about personal responsibility and the necessity of practice. When buying a first BMX bike, make sure you purchase it from a specialist retailer like Skate Hut.