Bike riding is a great way for kids to get places AND get exercise, but before they pump up the tires and pedal away, there are things to think about. Safety, for one.
- Always wear a bike helmet. The most serious injuries are to the head. All bike helmets should have a CPSC or Snell sticker inside to show that it meets standards. A helmet fits well if it sits level on the head, doesn’t tilt forward or backward, has wide straps that fit snugly under the chin, and is tight enough to not twist or move around.
- Kids should NOT wear a helmet when they’re playing on the playground or climbing a tree. Risk of strangulation from the chin strap can happen during these activities.
- Wear brightly-colored or fluorescent clothes to be visible on the road.
- Pant legs should NOT be flared or loose to avoid getting caught in the chain while riding.
- Make sure belts, backpack straps or ties don’t get tangled in the spokes.
- NEVER ride barefoot. Try to wear shoes that will grip the pedals.
- Always ride in the same directions as cars. NEVER ride against traffic.
- NEVER ride at dusk or in the dark when it’s difficult to see and be seen.
- Watch traffic closely for turning cars, driveways.
- Don’t ride too close to parked cars - doors can open quickly.
- Walk bikes across busy intersections.
- When riding in a group, always ride single file.
- NEVER share a bike seat - it’s very easy to lose your balance.
- NEVER wear head phones - you need to hear everyone else on the road.
- NEVER hitch a ride on a moving vehicle.
- Make sure to check that tires are properly inflated, the chain is oiled regularly, and the handlebars and seat are adjusted to the correct height.