Teaching bicycle safety to your kids is a great way to help them take responsibility and develop good habits early in life. There are few things we associate more with a happy childhood than riding a bike. Here’s how to make sure these childhood rides stay safe.
5 Essential Bicycle Safety Tips for Kids
- Make sure the helmet fits: Let’s assume you know that a child (or even adult) should never go riding without a helmet. Helmets are the single best way to prevent a minor accident from becoming a major injury. Make sure that the helmet fits, and ensure that it is properly fastened. You don’t want the helmet coming lose while your child is riding. A snug fit is your best bet. Help your kid build this habit and you are halfway there.
- Sidewalks are ideal for kids: Now, as an adult, you probably want to avoid sidewalks and stick to bike lanes. For kids, though, the sidewalk is ideal, especially when they are just riding around the neighborhood. You should teach them courtesy in sharing these areas with pedestrians and other riders, however. You don’t want them hitting your neighbors on their afternoon walk.
- Dress your kids in bright colors: While it’s possible to go overboard, dressing you child in bright colors will make it easier for cars to noticed them. This can reduce the chances of an accident. As an added benefit, it will make it easier for you to find your kids when you check up on them.
- Avoiding nighttime rides: Nighttime is by far the most dangerous riding time. There is a strong argument for keeping younger children from riding after dark at all. If your kids do go for a night ride, make sure to fit the bike with a light.
- Ride with your kids: If your kids are going too far from home, you should probably come along to keep an eye on them. Getting on your own bike is always a great way to teach your kids about safety. You can instruct and lecture beforehand, but there’s nothing like a positive example to reinforce good behavior. Show your kids how safe riding is done and they will follow your lead.
Biking is an iconic part of growing up. Making sure your kids learn just a few basic safety habits will go a long way towards helping them stay safe. It will also give them a solid foundation for practicing proper bicycle safety later in life.
Frederick M. Dudek is a San Diego bike accident lawyer and cycling enthusiast with a passion for promoting bicycle safety and defending his fellow riders.