It is no secret that most kids love riding their bikes. Bike riding is a fun activity that allows them to be active and have freedom while spending time outside.
Did you know that children between the ages of 5 and 14 years are the ones most likely to sustain a bike injury?
The most common bicycle injuries are caused by falls or collisions, but head injuries account for the majority of bicycle-related deaths and hospital admissions.
Here are a few tips to consider to keep your kids safe.
Bicycle helmets are made specifically for bike riding and protect your child’s head in the areas that are most likely to be injured during a fall or accident. Never allow your child to wear another type of helmet when riding a bike.
- Bicycle helmets should be used at ALL times while riding or being a passenger.
- A properly fitting bicycle helmet should rest right above the eyebrows and should not slide around the child’s head. The straps of the helmet should form a Y just under the child’s ear and the chin strap should be snug enough to pull down on the helmet when the child opens his or her mouth.
- Do not buy an over sized bike for your kid to grow into.
- Verify if you have the correct size by having your child sit on the bike’s seat with his/her hands on the handlebars and feet on the ground. The balls of both feet, not just the toes, should touch the ground.
Bike safety by age:
- Babies 1 year of age or younger should NOT be allowed to ride in bicycle-mounted carriers or trailers.
- The use of mounted carriers should be avoided once the child gets closer to age 4 because the weight of the child makes the bicycle unstable and difficult to handle.
- Kids younger than 3 years of age DO NOT have the developmental skills necessary to ride a tricycle or a bicycle.
- Kids aged 4 and 5 will most likely be able to ride a bicycle with training wheels and foot-operated brakes. Also, they should not be allowed to ride in traffic. Adult supervision at all times is a must with this age group.
- Kids aged 6 and older are most likely developmentally ready to ride a bicycle without training wheels and operate hand brakes. They will slowly begin developing the skills necessary to ride in areas with pedestrians and traffic. Please do not allow your child to ride in traffic until they have proven to you that they can control the bicycle properly, and correctly and consistently follow the rules of the road. Every child is different, so the attainment of these skills could be at completely different time frames, even among siblings within the same family. Adult supervision is still important in this age group.
- Adolescents are at increased risk of bicycle injury and death, so they should be encouraged to wear bicycle helmets EVERY time they ride.
- If your child is old enough to ride in traffic, he/she should always ride on the right, with traffic. Riding against traffic is dangerous because it confuses and surprises drivers. Around 25% of bicycle-car collisions result from bicyclists riding against traffic.
- Never allow your child to ride at dusk or after dark.
Keep riding and keep having fun but don’t forget safety ?
Disclaimer: The content in this blog is not to be considered medical advice and it is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your primary care provider. If you have specific questions, please contact your physician.