Recently in Utah, a young man at just the age of eight died after a motocross accident in Salt Lake City, Utah. The boy was in a late night race when he overshot a table top jump and hit a plywood deflection wall. He was wearing top of the line safety gear and had been riding since he was four years old.
SALT LAKE TRIBUNE: Boy, 8, dies in dirt bike accident
Personally, although I have never rode, I am a motocross fan having done first aid for motocross previously for two years.
After reading the article I happened to read the comments by other readers of the story, and was quite shocked when finding that most of them were negative.
Many of the posts stated that the parents were neglegent and that no child should be able to ride much less race a dirt bike. Safety was a major discussion of all the replies.
But how risky is the sport and is it worth the risk?
These parents will question that for the rest of their lives most likely, however we should not stop the sport because of one accident.
Accidents happen no matter what sport and activity you are involved with. Football, hockey, soccer…even bicycle riding has risks involved and kids have been seriously hurt or even died.
The main thing to remember in these higher risk sports is safety. Motocross and dirt bike riding has a lot of safety equipment involved with it and motocross racers are required to have them in order to compete. This young boy had all the safety equipment – a good helmet, neck brace, chest brace, etc. but the accident still happened and he unfortunately died. However many other motocross racers have overshot a jump and have come out of it just fine.
Another point mentioned was that eight year olds do not have the mind or motor skills in order to race in motocross. I would go as far as saying from my experience doing first aid and watching motocross that the young racers are more safe then the older racers. The young racers do not want to get hurt and are careful in what they do, although they still want to compete. That is a thinking age. A lot of the teenager and adult racers are more competitive then the youth and are out there just trying to pass finish first.
Doing first aid, I think we have treated more adults then youth and have had more adults seriously injured then youth.
We need to remind ourselves to pop that bubble we are placing around children, let them explore the world. Kids get hurt, it is a fact of life. You may not think motocross is the best activity for your child – and you may be right for YOUR child – but for some children it is the perfect activity for them. Remember getting your first bike? Or your drivers license? There is a certain amount of freedom with that and the same goes for dirt bike riding and motocross. Some kids crave that.
When thinking about how dangerous the sport is, think of the local neighbourhood child who is on his bike, going over man-made jumps, other objects, the likes. This is dangerous and could even kill…but many parents don’t say anthing and just say it is a port of growing up.
Don’t keep your child in a protective bubble. Let him try things and explore them if he or she is interested.
Keeping them from doing something in many cases just leads them to wanting to do it more and might make them find alternatives.
I end this post saying rest in peace to the young racer, Logan Emerson of Sandy, Utah. You are now racing the big race in the sky. I may have not known you personally, but as a motocross fan – you are part of the large community.