Motocross racing recently made an appearance again at the MotoGP event at Circuit of the Americas, and there are a number of dedicated tracks and trails popping up throughout Central Texas. There are even summer camps starting soon to train youngsters on riding these motorcycles through all types of rugged terrain.
Despite its popularity, experts caution that motocross may not be a safe sport for everyone, especially the younger riders.
A recent story appearing in the Journal of the American Surgeons (JAAOS) addressed new findings on common motocross injuries. Motocross injuries usually affect the bones and joints (fractures, sprains, and broken bones), but riders also suffer from serious scrapes and skin lacerations, and concussions.
Highlights of a study evaluating motocross-related accidents in pediatric/adolescent patients (ages 5 to 18 years) include:
- 249 participating patients required a total of 299 medical treatments (over a seven-year period).
- 48% of riders experienced at least one diagnosed concussion or concussion-related symptoms.
- 95% of injuries were musculoskeletal most commonly to the forearm, collarbone, femur, and tibia.
Kids’ bones are especially vulnerable to these types of musculoskeletal injuries as they are still delicate and constantly changing.
Beyond the physical demands of the sport, there is also the cognitive skill required to operate a motocross bike (which is essentially a machine) and make split-second decisions while navigating it. This can prove difficult for young children.
If your child does ride a motocross bike, follow these tips to minimize risk of injury and ensure their safety:
- Permit them to ride only when under constant adult supervision
- Use properly-fitting protective gear including a helmet, safety/sport goggles, and knee and elbow pads.
- Keep the bike well-maintained.
- Pay special attention to environment factors such as inclement weather, extremely uneven terrain or steep hills, and protruding sticks and rocks on the course.
In the event your child suffers an injury, seek urgent medical care as needed or contact us for an appointment with one of our specialists.
(Courtesy of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons-AAOS)