When the sun shines, children are more than likely going to be riding bicycles. Whether they pass time rolling over the sidewalks on their street or hug the curbs of their neighborhood in a pack of friends, children love to ride bicycles. Unfortunately, children are also injured and killed in bicycle accidents each year in the United States. The leading cause of death in bicycle accidents is due to traumatic brain injury and the number one way to prevent traumatic brain injury is to wear a bicycle helmet. Here are some tips for bike safety for kids to keep bike riding safe and fun!
Review Rules These With Your Child: Bike Safety for Kids
Bicycle Helmets Are A Must
The options for children’s helmets are endless. Children can choose helmets with their favorite movie and television characters, or pick something with vivid colors and designs. Some children’s safety organizations distribute helmets at low to zero cost, check around your community to find help if needed. Remind your child that they must wear the helmet absolutely every time they get on their bicycle. This should never be up for debate with your children, even if they are simply cruising down the driveway. Start at a young age and wearing a helmet will become second nature to your child. Always set a good example by wearing a bicycle helmet yourself.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has set standards of safety for bicycle helmets. When purchasing a helmet make sure to look for their sticker of certification on the product. A CPSC sticker ensures your child’s helmet meets all the safety requirements in effect.
A Proper Bicycle Helmet Safety Fitting
Your child’s bicycle helmet should fit snugly on their head. The helmet should never move side-to-side. Be conscience that the chin strap and buckles are secure. The helmet absorbs the energy of impact, so it is essential to confirm a safe fit for your child.
Children love to bike ride with their family. This is a great opportunity to model safety habits for your child. Everyone should secure helmets before your family adventure begins. If your child will be on any main roads, provide safety gear like bright or reflective clothing.
Teach your children the rules of the road and make sure they follow street signs just as a car would. Show them how to use common hand signals like left turn, stop, and right turn. Model how to look and listen at crosswalks, as well as walking bicycles across major crosswalks.
Explain to kids that bikers should call out to pedestrians on bike trails, “On the left,” as they approach so walkers don’t accidentally get in their way at the last moment.
Staying alert and paying attention while biking is an important skill.
Bike Chain Safety
Remind children that anything hanging down, such as backpack straps, shoe laces, or loose skirts, can get snarled in the bicycle chain and cause an injury.
Following bike safety for kids, observing bicycle road safety tips, and always wearing a bicycle helmet, will greatly reduce the chance of injury in bicycle accidents.