Teaching Your Children About Bicycle Safety

While your child likely won’t be able to go to camp or participate in summer sports this year, a safe and effective way they can get both fresh air and exercise is by taking their bicycle out for a ride. Before getting on and going for a ride around the neighborhood, it is important that you perform a few quick safety checks to avoid preventable injuries

How does the helmet fit?

A helmet is the most important safety gear your child can wear while riding their bike, and it is important to make sure it fits correctly. First, your child’s helmet should fit snugly on the head, covering the forehead. It should not be able to tip back and forth or move from side to side when worn correctly. The straps should be able to fasten securely and snugly without feeling uncomfortable.The helmet should come with a label stating that it meets standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). If the sun bothers your child’s eyes, look into helmets with built-in sun visors for protection. A hat should not be able to fit under a helmet when worn correctly. Additionally, if you notice any cracks or holes in the helmet, it is time for a replacement.

Does the bike fit your child?

Your child will continue to grow and eventually outgrow their bicycle. In order to make sure a new bike is the correct size for your child, have them stand with one leg on either side, straddling the bicycle with both feet flat on the ground. While they are standing there should be between one and three inches between your child and the top bar on the bike. If you are unsure how to measure them, visit a local bike shop or sporting goods store to have them measured and fitted by a professional who can find a bike that fits their needs. 

How to do a safety check before a bike ride

Teach your child how to perform a safety check before going on a bike ride. Go through the check together a few times before allowing them to do the full check on their own. Make sure your child knows how to:

  • Make sure the seat and handlebars are tightened and secure.
  • Check the tread and air pressure in the tires. 
  • Check the brakes for stickiness and the chain for resistance. If needed, apply oil for additional lubrication. 

Prior to letting your child out on a bike ride, check what they are wearing. Make sure your child is not wearing loose clothing that could get caught in the chain including baggy pants, skirts or dresses. Check shoes to make sure the laces are tied tight and tucked into their shoes to avoid getting caught. If your child is taking a backpack with them, tuck in the straps. You should also check the weather: wet streets can lead to slick conditions, which can be dangerous and lead to injury.

Injury Treatment in South Plainfield & Edison, NJ

If your child sustains an injury while riding their bike, visit AFC Urgent Care South Plainfield today. Our center offers convenient hours and walk-in visits, so you never need to worry about making an appointment. We can provide x-rays, casting and splinting for fractures and stitches in one visit! For questions, please call 908-222-3500.