Teaching Kids About Bicycle Safety Gear & Tips
There’s far more than a mere ‘rush’ a child gets, when they ride their bicycle for the first time. There’s that surreal feeling of independence, too.
When they take their first ride, children almost feel as though they might be flying. Like they are capable of doing just about anything.
And this is where it gets dangerous.
The misuse of the newfound freedom that comes from riding a bicycle, accounts for several accidents and even deaths, each year. If your child is going to be riding a bicycle, you need to pass on the correct bike riding information to them.
Read on, to find out all about Bicycle Safety and Bicycle Riding Skills, to help your children make every bike ride safe. First, a look at the appropriate Cycling Safety Gear, for that upcoming cycle ride.
Cycling Safety Gear: The Essentials
You want some protective cycling gear that is made well, fits correctly, and does its intended job. Here is our list of Cycling Safety Gear essentials for your young bicycle rider.
This is the single most important piece of safety equipment for all bicycle riders. Here’s what you should be looking for, when choosing that helmet.
- Sizing. The need of the hour is to get a helmet that is of the right fit. Tip: You might wish to measure your child’s forehead, right above the eyebrows, to make it easier to choose that helmet.
- Fit. No matter how perfect that helmet size is, you will have to tweak the chosen helmet to ensure it fits even better. You can do this by adjusting the padding on your child’s helmet, so they can shake their head without the helmet shifting.
- The Helmet Straps. These should come to a point just below your child’s ear. You want to ensure the chin strap is snug enough. You need to be able to slip one finger between it and the chin.
Of course, you want your child to be visible when the sun starts to set! Children under the age of 14, who ride bikes without reflectors after sunset, have a far greater chance of being injured.
Elbows and Knee Pads
You have to protect your little one from all those bumps and scrapes they might get along the course of their cycling journey, so riding with these becomes a must!
Bicycle Safety Tips for Kids
When learning how to ride a bicycle, children have to be made aware of all the things that could pose potential hazards, and what they can do to overcome them. Here is our list of all things related to kids vis a vis bicycle safety, that will make that bicycle ride as safe as possible.
Always wear that Helmet
Needless to say, the thing that goes on top of your child’s head, makes it to the top of the list!
As far as possible, ride on Bike Paths and Bike Lanes
There is a reason that bike paths even exist! There is simply no denying the fact that riding a bike on bicycle-specific infrastructure, away from all that traffic, is the best way to go.
Learn Hand Signals
You have to ensure your child makes use of the following hand signals.
- Left Turn: Extending their left arm straight out.
- Right turn: Right arm extended straight out.
- Stop: Left arm bent down at the elbow.
Following the Traffic Laws
In most areas, bicycle laws are going to be the same as vehicular traffic laws.
- They have to ensure they stop at Stop Lights. Also, they need to use the signals discussed above for turning.
- They must not drive unpredictably. The cars around them must know what line they are taking.
- They have to make eye contact with car drivers, and not pull out in front of a car at an intersection if they haven’t acknowledged their presence.
Riding with You
In the beginning, it is of utmost importance that your children ride with you. This will help them garner the confidence they need to eventually set out on their own. You want to be completely secure in the knowledge that they are, indeed, ready to ride that bicycle.
Ensure their bike is in good working condition
Learning how to ride a bicycle is one thing. Maintaining that cycle, another thing altogether. And yet, both are absolutely vital where it comes to ensuring bicycle safety. Things like flat tires and poorly functioning brakes, are among the top reasons for those crashes. Tip: Every once in a while, take that cycle to the bike shop for a tune up.
Follow Basic Cycling Rules for the Road
Here are some basic cycle riding rules that are an absolute must for those little racers.
- Before pulling into the street at an intersection, they must stop, look left, look right, and then look left again. Looking back, they must yield to any traffic coming from that direction. Then, they must ‘walk’ those bikes through the intersections.
- They must forever be on the watch for cars coming out of driveways and parking lots.
- Those bicycles have to move forward in the direction of the traffic, and never against it. Also, they must be ridden on the ‘Right’ side of the road.
They must not ride in the dark, or in other low-visibility conditions
Many people are scared of the dark, and for good reason. If they really do need to ride in the dark, kids must take note of the following tips.
- They need to use a bike light, in addition to the reflectors we touched upon earlier.
- Ensure they wear clothes and have accessories that have retro reflective materials that improve the bike’s visibility.
At EuroKids, we do everything in our capacity to curate the safest possible environment for your children. To all parents of future cyclists, this is what we have to say. Tell your children that a bicycle is not a toy. It is a vehicle, and if they must ride it, they have to follow all essential safety riding tips.