Fall is definitely in the air, and with spring comes the added excitement of outdoor activities. For our children it’s the excitement of rediscovering “new” outdoor toys and getting back on their bicycles. This excitement can cause our children to briefly forget bicycle safety.
Here are out top 5 tips for bicycle safety:
1. Helmets are essential – When shopping for a new helmet, or inspecting last year’s helmet, make sure there is a sticker showing that it is approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Children should never wear a hat under their helmet, and it should be worn level and cover their forehead. The straps should always be fastened and adjusted so they’re snug.
2. Remind your children NO headphones – Tell them to save the music for when they’re home or at their destination. Wearing headphones inhibits their ability to hear vehicles or warnings around them.
3. Properly maintain your child’s bicycle – Make sure the seat, handlebars, and wheels fit tightly, the chain is oiled, and the brakes work well and don’t stick. Check their tires to make sure they have enough air and the right amount of tire pressure.
4. Secure any straps or loose items. Make sure that nothing will get caught in their bike chain, such as loose pant legs, backpack straps, or shoelaces. Avoid wearing sandals or flip flops when biking (and never barefoot!)
5. Remind them to always ride with their hands on the handlebars.
When your children are ready to ride on the road, remind them of a few simple rules (it’s a good idea to take them to a vacant parking lot to practice some of these rules before they get out on the road):
• Always stop and check for traffic in both directions when entering the roadway.
• Always cross at intersections and never enter a roadway between two parked cars.
• Always walk their bike across busy intersections while properly observing traffic signals.
• If they are riding on the sidewalk, be respectful of pedestrians, but while on the roadway travel on the right-hand side of the street travelling in the same direction as cars do.
• Ride single-file on the street with friends.
Bicycle riding, especially on the road, takes all of your child’s senses. Make it a family activity and get out together, not only is it great exercise for everyone, it’s also a great opportunity to talk about bicycle safety in a fun and interactive way. Practice your child’s route to a friend’s house or to school, point out the dangers you see so they can learn from your experienced eye.
If you’ve been involved in a Personal Injury and want to know your legal rights, schedule your free initial consultation to discuss your case with Richard Breen Law Offices at 2950 Breckenridge Lane Suite 3, Louisville, KY 40220 if you are in a car accident. You can call at 502-473-0579.