Bicycle Safety for Children

 

Bicycle SafetyBicycle Safety for children is very important and should be a priority for most families. One of the highlights for most of us is the memory of our bikes. I can remember sharing in the excitement when my daughter received her very first bike and learned to ride it with training wheels in our driveway. I also fondly recall when we took off the training wheels for her first solo ride and I participated by running along side of her and then letting her go.

 

 

 


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Before we cover Bicycle Safety, we wanted to remind you of our introductory offer. Purchase our KIDCATCHER driveway child protector barrier at a special wholesale price and keep your children safe when they are playing in your driveway. Click here for more information on our offer.


Realistically, at that time in a child’s life, bicycle safety is a non-issue, and it is our responsibility as parents to take kid bike safety seriously and not leave it to chance.

There are three areas of bicycle safety to consider to ensure your child’s safety when riding his or her bike. They are:


 * Bicycle helmet safety
 * Driveway safety for younger children
 * Education – teaching your children the bike safety rules and added bicycle safety tips as they become more independent and rely on their bike for transportation.


Bicycle helmet safety

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), bicycle helmet safety can save your child’s life. Each year about 800 bicyclists are killed and more than half a million are treated in hospital emergency rooms. In recent years, almost two-thirds of the deaths and one-third of the injuries involved head and face injury. About one-half the injuries to children under the age of 10 involved the head or face. Helmets may reduce the risk of head injury to bicyclists by as much as 85 percent. Yet, only about 50 percent of bicyclists wear helmets. Bike helmet safety is essential to your children. The following are bicycle safety equipment options:


The purpose of a helmet is to absorb the energy of an impact to minimize or prevent a head injury. Crushable, expanded polystyrene foam generally is used for this purpose.

A bicycle helmet should have a snug but comfortable fit on the rider's head. If a parent is buying a helmet for a child, it is recommended that the child accompany the parent so that the helmet can be tested for a good fit. To ensure that your child’s bicycle helmet fits, have he or she wear it low on the forehead - 2 finger widths above the eyebrows. Sit it evenly between the ears and flat on the head. tighten the chin strap and adjust the pad inside so it feels snug and secure and doesn't move up and down or from side to side.

For a helmet to provide protection during impact, it must have a chin strap and buckle that will stay securely fastened. No combination of twisting or pulling should remove the helmet from the head or loosen the buckle on the strap. As a matter of bicycle safety, children should be instructed to always wear the helmet level on the forehead, not tilted back. The chin strap should be adjusted correctly and firmly buckled.

Helmets manufactured after March 1999, are required by federal law to meet the CPSC standard, or bicycle safety standards. When purchasing a helmet, consumers are urged to examine the helmet and accompanying instructions and safety literature carefully. Consumers should also look for a product label, stating conformance with the CPSC standard.

Also, make sure your child's bike is the right size. He or she should be able to straddle the bike with both feet on the ground. A bike that is too big or too small is a bicycle safety hazard. Ten-speed bikes are not a good idea for young children, because their small hands often cannot make the handbrakes work. Instead, buy a bike with a coaster brake.

As a minimum, your child's first bike should be equipped with a bell, reflectors and bicycle lights.



Driveway safety for younger children
Because seven out of ten car and bicycle crashes occur at driveways or other intersections, it is imperative that you ensure that your young children do not enter the street while riding their bikes. While you can park your car at the bottom of the driveway to act as a barrier, it is not recommended because of the risk of injury. You can also have a fence with a gate installed that can be costly and may not add to the aesthetics of your home.

Another alternative is that you can obtain the KIDCATCHER, an easy to use product that is designed specifically for driveway safety. This driveway safety option was designed specifically for use with children. It is a reasonably priced, portable mesh barrier that acts as a deterrent to assist in preventing children and toys from leaving the driveway and entering the street.

The KIDCATCHER also acts as a visual barrier to deter automobiles from entering the driveway where kids are playing. This is especially important when cars are parked on the street next to the driveway and impair a driver’s vision.

Education
Educating your child on bicycle safety is equally important to their well-being. Discuss bicycle safety with them when they receive their first bike and reinforce it as they grow older and become more independent. As logical as it sounds, never take for granted that your child will just know the rules of bicycle safety because of common sense.

As a suggestion, have discussions with your child or make it a question and answer game so they can “learn bicycle safety by doing.”

The following are ten bicycle safety rules to help you. It is recommended that you review them with your child and actually demonstrate each one to reinforce the point and make the learning concrete. Also, this method will allow younger child to measure their progress as they graduate from their driveway to the road.

Twelve Bicycle Safety Rules

1. Protect Your Head. Wear a helmet!

2. See and Be Seen. Wear proper Clothing.
Clothing should be light in color and close fitting to avoid being entangled in the moving parts of a bicycle.

3. Go with the flow of Traffic, Stay on the right side.
A bicyclist must obey the same traffic laws as motor vehicles. Stop signs and stop lights, road marks and road signs are for a cyclist as well as a motor vehicle operator. Always use hand signals! Never weave from lane to lane or tailgate or hitch rides on moving vehicles.

4. Keep your Eyes on the Road. Be aware of traffic around you.
Seven out of ten car vs. bicycle crashes occur at driveways or other intersections. Before you enter a street or intersection, check for traffic and always look left, right and left. Walk your bicycle across busy streets and crosswalks.


5. Stay Alert
Keep a lookout for the unexpected.

6. Drive your bicycle defensively
Watch out for potholes, sewer gratings, cracks, railroad crossings, loose gravel, and broken glass. Before going around any object, look ahead and behind yourself for a break in traffic. Plan your move, and then signal your intention. Be especially careful in wet weather and at night.

7. Bicycling at night
Beware the Night! Be cautious when bicycling at night.

8. Make sure your bike has lights and reflective material
Always have operational front and rear lights on your bicycle when riding at night. Wear reflective clothing or material on your helmet, ankles, back and wrists. Ride in familiar areas or streets that are well lit.

9. Use Off Road paths and follow designated bike routes
Bicycle routes are marked by signs and are usually rated according to their difficulty. They are reserved for bikes only and can be ideal for new riders.

10. Fix it up. Check your bike!
Your bike should be correctly adjusted to fit you. Your feet should rest on the ground while properly sitting on the seat. Before using your bike, check to make sure that all parts are secure and working. The handlebars should be firmly in place and the wheels should be straight and secure.

11. Properly stop your bike
Control your speed by using your brakes. If your bike has hand brakes, apply the rear brakes before the front breaks. Remember to ride slowly on wet, slippery pavement, and to apply brakes earlier since it takes more distance to stop.

12. Keep your wheels on the road
Wheels should be securely fastened. Check your wheels before every ride, after every fall, or after transporting your bicycle to insure that they are properly fastened and secured. Make sure that tires are properly inflated.

 

NOTE: In case of serious injury while bike riding we suggest that you obtain QuikClot Sport for your first aid kit.

 

Bike Safety Video

This bike safety video is provided for public awareness. It was created by parents who actually experienced a bike accident with their children.

Also check out this  site for more information on bicycle safety

 
 
 
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