Riding bikes is a great activity for kids to enjoy. It gets them outside, active, and with a group of friends or family members. As a lifelong skill, riding your bike provides many benefits but can be accompanied by a few dangers as well. As your child learns to ride their bike or summer rolls around, it’s a great idea to assess the gear your child is using a refresh some road rules to keep your kids as safe as possible. Keep your child safe on their bike with our tips below:
- Wear a properly fitted helmet. Helmets are one of the most important pieces of riding a bike. When fitting your child’s helmet, it should sit about two fingers above their eyebrows. Make sure the strap is tight on their chin; if the helmet can move back and forth, it will not provide proper protection during a fall. The helmet should also fit past the nose when your child is turned to the side. If you want to test this out, have them face a wall and try to touch the helmet to it. If their nose touches first, the helmet is probably too small.
- Make sure their bike is the right size. If your child’s bike is too small or too big, they won’t be able to control their movements and stopping as well. When it comes to fitting a child’s bike, the largest piece to consider is the frame size and seat height. Ensure your child’s seat height is not tool ow or too small, or else the bend in their leg will change and cause discomfort or lack of control. Speak with a salesman when purchasing the bike, or watch helpful videos on YouTube to properly fit your child.
- Always wear close-toed shoes when riding your bike. As the feet are always circling and there are gears and chains involved, it’s always best to make sure they are wearing sneakers or other close-toed shoes to protect their toes and feet. Imagine one of their toes getting stuck in some of the movements of the bike or skidding on the ground while turning – ouch!
- Discuss road rules with your child. If you live in a neighborhood, always try to have them ride on a sidewalk or in a cul-de-sac that has adequate supervision and signs to indicate there are children playing. Whether they are riding in the road, driveway, or sidewalk, make sure they understand to always stop and look both ways before pulling into the road or crossing the street. In addition, knowing which side of the road to ride on to go with the flow of traffic can also help keep your child safe. Cars may sneak up on them much faster than they expect, so they should always be alert!
- Have them wear bright colors or place flashing lights on their bikes. Wearing bright colors and flashing lights, especially during the day, will help make them more visible to drivers on the road. You can never be too cautious or prepared when it comes to riding a bicycle!
- Always provide them with water and drinks! While going full speed as a child may be normal, riding your bike outside can quickly cause dehydration, especially during the summer months. After time spent riding outside, always provide low-sugar drinks with electrolytes to replenish their lost body water and keep them healthy.
While riding a bike seems like such a innocent rite of passage for kids, that is only possible under safe conditions. Implement these tips, ride with your children when possible, and keep your eyes on them at all times to ensure they can ride their bike comfortably and safely!