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Bicycle Safety Tips for Kids

Bicycle Safety Tips for Kids

Learning to ride a bicycle is one of the most significant events in a child’s growing-up life. Children love to take their bicycles for a ride around their neighbourhoods with their friends, or to their schools. Riding a bicycle gives them a sense of freedom and control. However, busy roads, especially in urban areas, also expose them to certain dangers of physical harm and injuries. Hence, it is paramount to invoke all possible safety measures while children enjoy the fun of riding a bicycle. This blog presents some useful bicycle safety tips for kids.

Also Read: How a five-point safety harness keeps your child safe

Bike Helmets

Head injuries could be one of the most dangerous unwanted outcomes of accidents for kids riding their bicycles. Wearing a helmet can guard children against any such head injuries. With the increasing adoption of cycling among children, bike injuries have also become commonplace. Kids with bicycle-related injuries at hospitals and clinics are a commonplace sight. Head injuries could be especially dangerous and worrisome. Bicycle helmets for children can be easily purchased from any bicycle or sports-related shop. Parents must ensure that they buy the right quality of helmets and not the flimsy ones that might not do much to safeguard the tender heads of their children. In addition to protecting your skull, high-quality bike helmets are designed in a way to also protect other body parts such as your face and neck against any injuries emerging from a bike accident. Bike helmets are designed with aerodynamic shaping and specially designed grooves that ensure ample flow of air keeping the head cool while exposed to the sweltering sun while riding. A few things need to be kept in mind while selecting the right bike helmet for your kid:

–       Make sure it fits your child well. Too tight and it will make the child uncomfortable and might lead to rashes and prevent blood flow leading to dizziness while riding. Too loose and there are chances it might slip off while riding, defeating the protective purpose it is meant for.

Knee and Elbow Guards

Knees and elbows are the other most common injuries emerging out of bicycle accidents. Hence, it is advised for children to wear knee and elbow guards which protect their knees and elbows from any such injuries resulting from a fall from the bicycle.

Hand Gloves

It is also advised to protect your hands by wearing appropriate cycling gloves while riding. Cycling gloves also add a style quotient to the rider and hence an easy pick to convince kids to adopt while also ensuring safety.

Reflective Stickers

Reflective stickers are essential to be stuck on the bike and the helmets. These stickers reflect light which makes the rider visible to other vehicles on the road, especially in the dark. Since bicycles do not have inbuilt lights, it could be really dangerous for kids to be riding in the dark without these stickers on. Oncoming vehicles may not see them which might lead to unfortunate accidents.

Also Read: 10 Safety Rules at School You Must Teach Your Children

Do not wear loose-flowing clothes

Bicycles have a lot of open-moving mechanical parts such as tyres, spokes, chains, etc. This increases the chance of loose flowy clothes getting entangled in these moving parts leading to unfortunate accidents. Children are advised to wear tight-fitting clothes to ensure no loose ends left to be entangled. Most sport equipment stores provide special cycling clothes, such as shorts, and t-shirts, which are specially designed for cycling. Even the clothes have reflective material which ensures visibility of the cyclist in the dark.

Wear proper shoes

Wearing sandals, flip-flops or slippers while riding a bicycle is an invitation to danger. These things increase the chances of getting entangled in the moving parts and causing injuries or leading to the rider losing balance or control of the bike. Proper biking shoes will provide a strong grip on the pedal eliminating any chances of slippage or entanglement.

Avoid the use of smartphones or music

Using headphones to listen to music or to make phone calls while riding can be a dangerous distraction leading to serious accidents. Kids must avoid using smartphones or listening to music while riding their bicycles. Cycling is a thrilling activity which must be enjoyed without any other distractions. Using smartphones or listening to music diverts attention from the road which might lead to accidents.

Cycle Maintenance and checking

Bicycles, like any other vehicle, need regular servicing, repair and maintenance. Parts such as brakes, air pressure in tyres, chains, etc need to be checked exhaustively before taking the bike out for a ride. Any discrepancy can also lead to an unfortunate accident resulting in painful injuries to the child. Make sure your seat is at the right height and is fitted properly. Check the handlebars and tyres for proper fitment and alignment. Check the functioning of the brakes. Check for optimal air pressure. Ensure regular oiling and servicing of moving parts such as chains, pedals, brakes, etc.

Where to ride?

Children must avoid venturing out on heavy traffic roads for bicycle rides. Most Indian roads are not very amenable to bicycle riding and are full of rash drivers, and dangerous potholes. Parents or guardians must pick a suitable trail for children to go for a ride. There are ample cycling-related apps that can suggest safe cycling trails for children. Small children must be accompanied and under the supervision of a guardian at all times while they go for a ride.

When to go for a ride?

Children must avoid riding after dark as even after using reflectors sometimes the visibility of cyclists could be poor and might lead to unfortunate accidents. Daytime or early morning are the best times to go for a ride. Children must also avoid going out during rain. Roads are slippery and often water clogged which might lead to the possibility of slipping and losing control of the bikes resulting in injuries.

Also Read: Causes of Lightning and Precautions to Take

Follow rules on the road

Children must be made aware of the rules of the road before they venture out for a ride. Whether it is a city road or even if it is a road in a secure neighbourhood or even a road inside a gated community, children must be taught to follow rules. Children must always ride on the left side of the road. With the prominence of geared high-speed bikes, speed must be maintained within safety limits.

Children must also be taught how to signal before they turn, how to navigate a crossing with vehicles coming from different sides, how to overtake, etc. Never take your hands off the handlebar. Avoid engaging adventurous students such as skidding, wheelies, etc. Follow traffic signals and other traffic rules when riding on city roads.

Follow bike lanes. Keep distance from other vehicles, especially from parked cars as doors might suddenly open without notice. Be mindful of blind spots in vehicles, especially large vehicles such as cars, trucks, and buses. Avoid highways and ring roads which have heavy high-speed traffic movement.

All these tips are essential to ensure that your cycle ride is what it is meant to be – fun!



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