Safety for Bicyclists
Tips for Keeping Kids Safe on Two Wheels
Every year, more kids end up in the emergency room for bike-related injuries than any other sport. But, that doesn’t mean you should take the bike away and lock it up for good! Here are a few ideas for how you can help your children stay as safe as possible, and still let them have fun riding with friends.
Not All Helmets Are the Same
You want to buy a helmet with a sticker that says it meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards. And you need to make sure it fits your child properly! It should be comfortably snug all the way around and it should remain in place when your child shakes his or her head.
When fitting an adult bike, it’s usually done by frame size. But when you’re choosing a bike for your child, it should be done by wheel size instead. So, before you go shopping, make sure you know your child’s height (inseam measurement can be helpful too), because that’s what you’ll use to choose the proper wheel size.
When Can These Things Come Off?!?!
If your child hasn’t already started asking you to remove the training wheels, they will. Unfortunately, there’s no set-in-stone rule for when it’s safe to take them off. Many experts say that around age 5 is the right time, but nobody knows your child better than you do. Use your judgment and make sure you’re there to pick them up and encourage them when they fall.
Every Month Is Bike Safety Month
However, May is the month when we really celebrate it. National Bike Safety Month is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists. May 4th is Bike to School Day and May 20th
is Bike to Work Day. So get out there and enjoy it with your kids – and make sure you set a good example for how to ride safely.
Bicycle Friendly State℠ Rankings
Every year, the League of American Bicyclists ranks all 50 states based on how bike-friendly they are. In 2015, Michigan ranked #18, Illinois #14 and Wisconsin #9. View the full list of rankings
to find out which state came in at #1.
Share the Road
Even before your child is old enough to ride in the road, get them in the habit of using appropriate hand signals to communicate with drivers. For a left turn, extend your left arm outward. For a right turn, extend your left arm and bend it upward 90 degrees at the elbow. And to indicate stopping or slowing down, extend your left arm and bend it downward at 90 degrees with your palm facing back.
The best way to turn your child into a safe biker — and to make sure you know you can trust them on their own — is to spend as much time as possible riding with them! So, dust off your old bike and get out there for some quality riding/observing time.
Understand the Risks
One of the best ways to get your child off to a fun, safe start is to discuss the rules and the risks with them. Download and print this child bike safety infographic
to help start the conversation.