Children’s developmental milestones are the things that give the most happiness to parents; who could forget the first smile, the first word, the first step and all those firsts. Along with firsts, a child’s first bicycle is usually not forgotten. Biking is enjoyed by an array of people, including children. Biking gives you the feeling of freedom with the wind in your hair, not to mention it is considered good for the body and the environment.
When planning to buy a bike, bring the child along and choose the bike that is most suitable for the child’s age and height. Your child’s bike should be complete with safety features: brakes, reflectors, and a bell. Make sure that your child has a correctly fitted and good quality helmet and make it a rule to always wear the helmet when biking.
It’s the hope that the child will learn how to ride the bike quickly and to help parents will spend hours guiding the child until he/she can pedal successfully, maintain balance, and ride for a little while without crashing.
Once your child has learned how to ride the bike, greater guidance is needed. Children need to understand safe biking habits and with parental guidance, children will be safer while riding.
Here are some of these tips:
- Specify the places that the child is permitted to ride the bike. Make sure that the child will comply to this limitation.
- Instruct the child to always ask permission from an adult before going out to ride.
- Tell the child to wear appropriate clothes for biking. The clothes should fit properly to the body. Avoid long or loose clothing that might get caught in the bike parts. Clothes with reflective materials are ideal for night riding to vehicles are able to see the child riding. If you do not have reflective gear, the child should be wearing brightly colored clothes.
- Instruct the child to ride on the right side of the road, flowing with the traffic and not against it. The child should stay as far to the right as possible.
- Teach the child how to use appropriate hand signals and respect traffic signals.
- Tell the child that he/she should stop at all stop signs and stoplights.
- Teach your kids to make eye contact with drivers. The driver should be aware if the child is planning to cross the street.
- Make sure your child’s bike has reflectors and lights, especially if biking at dawn or dusk. Visibility is a requirement for the safety of bikers.
- Instruct the child not to perform crazy stunts with the bike in the streets, especially in areas with heavy traffic.
- Instruct the child to use appropriate speed, neither too slow or too fast, especially on a busy street.
Apply these simple child bicycle safety tips and let the child enjoy the benefits of biking.
As biking accidents can happen at anytime, to anyone, prepare yourself by reading a free handbook on biking accidents; prepared for you by Christensen & Hymas. This book explains Utah bicycle laws; talks about children and bicycle accidents; shows how bicyclists can make a claim under more than one insurance policy; identifies what you need to do to recover from a bike accident; and divulges 5 common mistakes that bicycle accident victims must avoid.