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How Can I Teach My Child About Bicycle Safety?

This summer may not be exactly like the summer your child was envisioning, but there are still certain activities they can participate in while getting exercise and fresh air. Going for a ride on their bike is a way children can still have fun while spending time outdoors. However, before your child takes their bike out, there are a few key safety checks you should perform to check the functionality of the bike and prevent injuries

Protective gear

Your child’s bike helmet should be worn each time they go for a ride. The helmet should cover your child’s forehead comfortably but snugly, without tipping back and forth or shifting from side to side when fastened properly. The straps should be able to be fastened comfortably without pinching the skin. The helmet should also be labeled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) as meeting the requirements set for bicycle helmets. If your child is not confident riding a bike yet, consider putting them in specialized biking gloves as well as wrist and knee guards to protect from cuts in highly mobile joints.

Is the bike the right size for your child?

Because your child is likely still growing, it is important to make sure their bicycle is still the correct size in order to ride safely and comfortably. To measure if the bike is still the correct size, have your child stand with one leg on either side, with their feet planted flat on the ground. There should be a space of between one and three inches between where your child is standing and the top bar of the bicycle, where the seat is attached. If there is too much space, your child has outgrown the bicycle. If you are unsure, visit your local bike shop to have a bike properly sized for your child. 

How should my child perform a safety check before going on their bicycle?

There are several simple checks that should be performed before your child goes for a ride. You can teach them how to perform these checks as well as their importance in order to prevent unnecessary injuries, including:

  • Checking the tightness and security of the handlebars and seat
  • Checking the tread and air pressure of both tires
  • Check the chain and the brakes for resistance or stickiness, or if oil is needed for additional lubrication for comfortable and safe riding

Before your child goes for a bike ride, make sure they are wearing the proper clothing and footwear to go out. Rather than wearing flip flops or sandals without much traction, have them wear sneakers for better grip on the pedals and to reduce the chance of slipping off and losing control. Have them leave loose clothing at home and check to make sure their shoes are tied tight with the laces tucked in to avoid getting caught in the chain, as well as tucking in backpack straps.

Injury Treatment for Bicycle Injuries in West Orange, NJ

If your child gets hurt while riding their bike, visit AFC Urgent Care West Orange! Our center is open seven days a week, with convenient hours for walk-in visits so you don’t need to wait for an appointment. Most major insurance plans are accepted. For questions, please call 973-669-5900.