Bicycle Safety Tips for Kids
Following these tips is as easy as riding a bike!
What to wear
- Use your head, wear a helmet! Helmets can reduce the risk of brain injury by 88 percent. Watch this video from Safe Kids Worldwide to learn how to make sure your child's helmet fits properly.
- Brightly colored clothing.
- Reflective arm and leg bands.
- Shoes with tied shoelaces, tight-fitting clothing and tucked-in pant legs. Protect your child from getting caught in the bike chain or wheel spokes.
What to ride
- A bike that's the right size, not one that your child will “grow into”. Your child's feet should be able to touch the ground when sitting on the seat of the bicycle.
- A bike that's working properly. Make sure the brakes work correctly, the gears shift smoothly and the tires are adequately inflated and tightly secured.
When to ride
- In daylight. Make sure the bike has a light and reflectors secured to it in case it gets dark outside while your child is still riding.
- In good weather. Avoid riding when it's rainy, windy or foggy.
Where to ride
If your child is under age 10:
- Only on sidewalks, in parks or on bike paths. Developmentally, it's difficult for children to judge the speed and distance of cars until age 10.
If your child is over age 10:
- On the right side of the road close to the curb. When passing parked cars, ride single file and a car door's length away.
What to do when riding
- Use hand signals before turning or changing lanes.
- Yell out, “On your left!” when preparing to pass, or “Stopping!” when stopping suddenly.
- Yield for walkers! Bicyclists must obey the same traffic rules as motorists, such as stopping for stop signs, red lights and yield signs.
These tips were compiled from resources distributed by Safe Kids Minnesota, an injury prevention coalition in which Regions Hospital is a proud partner. Regions Hospital leads the Safe Kids Greater East Metro/St. Croix Valley coalition.