My twelve-year-old recently tried downhill mountain biking when we were in Lake Placid. He found it thrilling and would like to continue with this new sport now that we are back home. I am hesitant for him to practice this sport on a regular basis because of safety concerns. We allow - basketball (with mouth guard) - soccer (with shin guards -- by the way, should he use the mouth guard as well when he is playing goalie?) - swimming - tennis - cross country skiing - ice skating for fun
We do not allow games with a stick -- ice hockey, lacrosse. And we do not allow American football or downhill skiing.
I'd like to be reasonably consistent with our existing policy!
Where does downhill mountain bike riding (on an established track at a reputable ski center) fit, on the scale of things? He has asked for a full-face helmet and elbow and knee pads, because that's what he was given to use as part of the fee at Lake Placid.
Clarification: I'd like to avoid fractures, of course, but I'd mainly like to avoid really serious injuries and things that might leave him with longlasting health problems such as a knee or back that is never the same again.
I'm not worried about scratches or bruises.