Riding a bike is an interesting experience for children. It gives them a sense of freedom and responsibility. However, as an outdoor exercise, riding can be dangerous, especially without certain security measures. Safety always comes first! Here are some tips for biking safety:
- Safety helmet. Previous studies indicated that the serious injuries from cycling are usually caused by the trauma to the head (Markowitz, 2013). Wearing a helmet will provide some protection for the childs’ head and brain in case they fall down when cycling. It is so important that a lot of local governments have issued laws to force the wearing of helmets when cycling. Do not forget to wear a safety helmet when riding outdoors!
- Road safety. It is best to scope out the riding place or route before riding. Children less than ten years old should ride on the sidewalk and avoid the street, as the automobiles can be quite dangerous (Moyes, 2007). A bike path or walk path is a good choice. Riding at daytime is safer than riding at night or dusk. When cycling, it is critical to keep your eyes on the road and beware of cars and trucks. It is also important to share the road with other riders and pedestrians.
- Hand Signals. Bicycles do not have the signaling lights like the cars. Therefore, when a rider wants to turn, it is important to let others understand the intention of turning before actually turning. Hand signals help the surrounding drivers know the rider’s next move, so they don’t have a collision. As a result, it is recommended that children learn some hand signals and try to use these hand signals when riding to avoid potential accidents.
- Be seen by others. For a safe ride, it is vital that the rider can be seen by others on the road. Compare to the adult riders, children have relatively small body size. Therefore, children riders are harder to observe, and sometimes, harder to predict. In other words, when a rider sees a car, it is possible that the driver does not see the rider, which can be quite dangerous. As a result, it is recommended that children riders wear clothes with bright colors, as well as some light reflectors.
- Markowitz, S., & Chatterji, P. (2013). Effects of bicycle helmet laws on children’s injuries. Health Economics, 24(1), 26–40.
- Moyes, S. A. (2007). Changing pattern of child bicycle injury in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 43(6), 486–488.