As parents, we try to encourage our kids to try new sports as much as possible, but what happens when your child comes to you wanting to try skateboarding of all things? Images of broken bones and speeding cars instantly spring to your mind. Indeed, skateboarding for kids is one of those sports that makes parents cringe with the sport’s vast potential for injury, yet with a little knowledge about safety, equipment, and safe skateboarding practices, skateboarding can move from a major source of worry for parents to a fun and enjoyable activity for kids.

The first thing to think about in terms of safety in skateboarding is equipment. Buying the skateboard itself would seem simple enough, but be sure to take into account the child’s size and purchase a skateboard size accordingly. A smaller child will have a tough time balancing and steering on a board that’s too large.

The next pieces of equipment to consider are the protective gear. Skateboarders will need a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads. Optional safety gear like wrist guards can also help to minimize injury from falls.

It’s important to ensure that all of the protective equipment fits properly. Ill-fitting safety gear is not going to provide optimal protection, and can be a liability if pieces slip and cause sudden shifts in balance.

Proper skateboarding shoes are a bit of skateboarding equipment that is often overlooked. Skateboarding shoes vary greatly just as shoes for other sports do. How the shoes are designed differs depending on what skateboarding tricks they support, so it’s a good idea to review what your child wants to practice, and then choose shoes accordingly.

Safety practices that you should review with your children include the following: Find an appropriate venue for skateboarding. Never skate in traffic. Don’t attempt maneuvers that are beyond your skill level. Learn how to fall properly – which means not trying to break your fall by throwing your arms out. Wearing elbow and knee pads will encourage proper falling techniques.

The best thing that parents can do if their child wants to take up skateboarding is to educate themselves about the sport. This includes becoming familiar with the various types of skateboards that are available, the protective gear that comes with skateboarding, and what the sports entails: what is possible versus what interests your child.

Another thing you have to keep in mind is what snacks you can feed your child as they burn energy and calories with their newly found love for skateboarding. One great choice that’s not only packed with vitamins, but also portable enough to tuck in backpacks for snacks on the go is Ricky Joy Yogurty Drink. It’s also lower in fat, cholesterol, and sodium per serving than similar products, while delivering a healthy dose of probiotics to help maintain healthy intestinal flora.