Going on a biking adventure is not only good exercise it gets children out in nature, or out in the neighbourhood. You might see it as a better alternative to your child watching their tablets all day.
However, it might also raise some concerns.
In 2016 there was a reported 101 bike related deaths of people under the age of 20.
But don’t go locking their new bikes into the safety of the garage just yet. There are ways to make biking a safe and enjoyable pastime. Read our review on the best bike for teenagers to find the right one for your teen.
Below are seven safety tips to keep your children happy and healthy on their biking adventures.
Make Sure the Bike Fits.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has offered these suggestions when purchasing a new bike for your child.
- The child needs to sit with both hands touching the handlebar and the balls of both feet touching the ground bar.
- Your child should also be able to operate the bikes breaks correctly.
You might have to cancel their surprise bike party to get them properly fitted, but it will be well worth it.
Make Sure Your Child is Wearing a Helmet.
In a survey by Summer Consumer Styles, of the 61 percent of children that rode a bike in a month only 41 percent of them wore helmets.
Children are more likely to wear a helmet if they see there parents wearing one. Other things you can do to encourage helmet use is to let your children pick out or customize their helmet.
Dress Your Child in Bright Clothes
Wearing bright reflective clothes helps others notice that your child is on a bike. In a study done in Denmark, cyclists had 55 percent fewer accidents with motorists when they wore a bright yellow jacket.
Drivers are not always paying attention. Anything that can make your child stand out on the road is good.
Make Sure your Child Knows The Rules of The Road
In most states, a bicycle follows the same rules as other modes of transportation. Make sure that your children understand and obey all traffic laws.
Your children also need to keep in mind that they should drive in a straight line and not swerve in and out of traffic. For children under the age of ten, it might be safer for them to stay on the sidewalk. You need to check to see if sidewalk riding is legal in your state.
Plan Your Children’s Route
There are many reasons why its good to plan your child’s route before they head off on a bike. You can find the best bike paths or places with little traffic. You will also know exactly where your kid will be if you get separated from them, or you send them off to bike ride on their own.
Make Sure Your Child Is Free from Distractions
A study from the Netherlands found that bikers that text while biking slowed down erratically and veer off their lanes. Music is another distraction. In another study, 80 percent of bikers listening to music did not hear car horns or other noises.
Keep Up With Proper Bike Maintenance
A bike with low air pressure is dangerous. You can find the proper air pressure printed on the side of the tire. Most pumps come with a pressure gauge. If you do not have one, just squeeze the tire and if there is too much give it needs air. Check the breaks at least once a month. Also, oil the chain of the bike when it gets dry to the touch.
Biking is an activity that comes with risk. Your children are riding out along with traffic, other bikers, and people. They should pay close attention to where they are going. They need to check their bikes often to make sure they are working right. They also need to dress in the proper biking attire. Plan your routes, and Practice bike safety before you go out. So let your child go off on that biking adventure, just make sure they are ready before they go.