Bike Safety for Kids
Summer is here, and children all around the neighborhood are looking to get out and enjoy the sun. Many kids will be riding their bikes over to friends’ houses or even trying to race around the cul-de-sac, but as your little ones show off their wheeled skills, you need to make sure they’re staying safe. Kyle ER is here to offer some key safety tips for families this summer.
To start with, make sure that your child is using a bike that is sized properly for them. Kids won’t be able to ride safely if they’re stretching their legs to fit a bike which is too tall, and they’ll have just as much trouble with their legs scrunched up on a bike they have outgrown. Some bike-makers recommend one model or another for kids, but there are size charts available from most major retailers which will help you find the right sized bike for your youngsters. Check out some size charts here, here, and here to find the right bike for everyone in the family.
With the right bike acquired, it then comes down to basic safety protocol—
- Helmets: This should go without saying that all children, even teenagers, need to wear a properly-fitting helmet while riding a bike. Falling from a bike can do more than just scrape a knee. Concussions are a serious risk of any bike accident, and having a strong, well-fitting helmet means that your child’s risk of head injuries will be much lower.
- Sidewalks: Some neighborhoods have special bike lanes and paths, but some do not. When your child is riding a bike, though, it is always safer for them to ride on the sidewalk. Riding cautiously in the street is better for teenagers and adults, who can learn and use hand directional signs while riding. Younger children should be encouraged to ride on the sidewalk whenever possible, and to respect pedestrians by riding slow or even getting off their bike and walking it until the path is clear to ride again.
- Hand Signals: Speaking of street riding, if you or your teenager plan to go riding around the neighborhood, it is important to learn the universal traffic hand signs. The U.S. Department of Transportation has created a set of arm and hand signs that help all bikers navigate the street. Check them out here and make sure that your whole family knows them before you go riding in public streets.
- Clothing: Naturally, you need to wear the right clothes to go biking in. They need to be comfortable, cool for the summer, and brightly colored. Wearing bright clothing is very important because it will make sure your child is visible while they’re riding. If you go riding in the early morning, evening, or even on a very shady route in the middle of the day, it might be hard for cars to see you. Even if you’re riding on a designated biking path, it is important to make sure you are as visible as possible. Making sure that you and your bike are outfitted with reflective strips is also very important if you plan to ride your bike at night.
- Supervision: If you have some younger children in your family who are always on the move, then make sure that they do not go out alone. Little ones should have a parent present, either riding with them, or observing as they ride around the cul-de-sac. Engaging with your children’s activities is not only safe, but enriching, and can help you connect with your kids throughout the summer.
Make sure that you and your little ones are biking safe this summer! In the event of any biking accidents, remember that Kyle ER is available 24/7, even on holidays, for all of your emergency medical needs.
This blog is written by Maggie Berardo, content writer at Nutex Health.
Nutex Health, Inc. supports you and your family’s health. Come visit Kyle ER or any one of our concierge-level freestanding facilities for the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.