The time has come to introduce your little kid to the beauty of bike riding. The key is to make sure the kids are protected properly so they are free to learn and test their capabilities. Here are a few tips that will help.
TOP SAFETY TIPS
♦ We have a simple saying: “Use your head, wear a helmet”. It is the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes.
♦ Make sure your child has the right size helmet and wears it every time when riding, skating or scooting. Rule of thumb is the helmet should be two fingers from eyebrow to helmet, the side straps should form a “Y” over the ears, and once the strap is connected the child’s mouth should open and close comfortably.
♦ You’d be surprised how much kids learn from watching you so it’s extra important for parents to model proper behavior. Wear a helmet, even if you didn’t when you were a kid.
♦ Your children’s helmet should meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s standards. When it’s time to purchase a new helmet, let your children pick out their own; they’ll be more likely to wear it for every ride.
♦ Ensure proper bike fit by bringing the child along when shopping for a bike. Select one that is the right size for the child, not one he or she will grow into.
♦ Actively supervise your children when they are riding.
♦ Every child is different, but developmentally, it can be hard for kids to judge speed and distance of cars until age 10, so limit riding to sidewalks (although be careful for vehicles in driveways), parks or bike paths until age 10. No matter where you ride, teach your child to stay alert and watch for cars and trucks.
♦ Long or loose clothing can get caught in bike chains or wheel spokes. Dress young kids appropriately to ensure a safe ride.
Parents want bike riding a pleasurable experience. It encourages exercise and social skills. Happy riding!