10 Safety Rules for Kids Before Riding A Bike
Biking is fun, it is a healthy exercise for you and your kids and it saves the environment from pollution. The bicycle is usually the first vehicle that your kid ever has and owning one is a source of pride for them.
You definitely must have experienced that heightened feeling of receiving your first bike when you were a kid and having your first bike ride. Your parents must have also taught you these safety rules for kids when riding a bike.
Wearing Properly Fitted Helmet
We all have heard this over and over that wearing a helmet when biking is the single most important safety device your kid must be aware of. It is the safest way to reduce risks of head injury from bike falls and crashes.
Make sure that your kid is wearing the perfectly fitted helmet, having the right size that fits the head snugly. The helmet must be worn in every bike ride regardless of distance.
The helmet must meet the standard of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). When your kid’s helmet needs replacement, let them pick out their own choice. This makes them more interested to wear it for every ride.
Wearing Safe and Comfortable Clothing
There is no biking uniform for kids when taking a bike ride, but it is important to take heed of these few clothing tips for them.
Bright-colored or fluorescent-colored clothing help the kids become easily visible on the road for drivers. Dark clothes especially during the night are not really advised to wear. Lightweight shirt such as cotton will keep your kid from getting easily overheated.
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Do not let them wear loosely fit or flared pants as it can get caught up in the chain while pedaling. Lightweight shirt such as cotton will keep your kid from getting easily overheated.
Properly Riding the Bike
Teach your kid the proper way to ride the bike to make sure they are controlling it correctly. While on their bike, both feet should be flat on the ground when they attempt to stand. Make sure they have about 1 to 3 inches distance from the top bar.
Be Seen and Be Safe
To make your kid easily noticeable by drivers, let them wear bright clothing and a helmet with bright reflective strips. Putting reflectors on their bike also help in making them visible on the street.
Tell them not to wear headphones or earphones because they won’t be able to hear warning noise such as a car blowing its horn. As much as possible, do not allow them to ride at night to ensure safety.
Where to Take a Bike Ride
It is important to instruct your kids where and how far they can bike. Children below 10 years old are really not advised to bike on the street or the road. They can enjoy short rides on the sidewalk with you watching.
Even on sidewalks, a car or a truck may suddenly pull out of the driveway. For adults crossing the road, it is best to walk their bikes across the street.
Basic Hand Signals
Teach your kids basic hand signals when making turns and taking a halt. These hand signals will help drivers know that you are about to make a turn or take a break, so they avoid the risk of running into you.
Rules of the Road
Here are some road rules you should teach your kid before they ride their bike:
- Always stop to look on the left and right to check for signs of traffic or crossing vehicles when leaving an alley, driveway or a curb.
- Always keep an eye on turning cars or trucks.
- Do not bike too close to parked vehicles. Some doors can open suddenly.
- On busy road intersections, it is best to walk the bike.
- Always ride on a single file on the road when riding with a group.
- Always obey all traffic signs just like vehicles do. Stop at red lights, yield to pedestrian, and be careful when crossing intersections.
Model a Good Behavior When Biking
You know how kids imitate what they see, so when training your kid how to bike, model the correct ways to do it. Always wear a helmet. Teach them to always make eye contact with drivers especially when crossing the street.
Teach them to bike on the right side of the street, and along the traffic, not against it, and bike as far to the right as possible.
Do’s and Don’ts of Biking
Simple do’s and don’ts of biking that you must teach your kid are:
- No playing on the street while biking.
- No riding on busy streets or roads with heavy traffic.
- No biking at night.
- Always stop for all stop signs.
- Always ride on the right side of the road with traffic.
- Always use hand signal when taking a turn for proper warning to drivers.
Your kids may not know yet how to check their bikes for repair and maintenance, so you might as well do it for them. Be sure to check the following:
- Tires: the recommended pressure on the sidewall of the tire must be followed.
- Chain: must be cleaned and oiled regularly.
- Handlebars: adjust it according to your child’s height and securely tighten the bolts.
- Brakes: cables and brake pads must not be worn-out.
- Seat: must be properly leveled and adjusted according to the height.
Biking is generally a safe riding activity even for kids. However, the most basic mistakes of missing out on learning the safety rules can most likely cause unwanted accidents. What you teach your child in terms of bike safety rules will be the ground for safe riding techniques in the years to come, and your child will enjoy the benefits of a good bike ride.