Bike riding is a great activity the entire family can partake in. It’s enjoyable, and it can also be very safe if done right. Bike riding allows kids to exercise, but the exercise is easily transformed into an exciting adventure. On the other hand, bike riding can also be risky, which means there are dangers where you least expect them. Because this shouldn’t be a dangerous activity, you as a parent should do whatever it takes to ensure your kids are safe. This also means that you should choose safe bike gear that will protect them when they are cycling. Here’s how you can do it:
Make them more noticeable
One of the best ways to keep your kids safe when they’re on a bike is to make them more visible. Sadly, a lot of accidents happen simply because drivers don’t notice cyclers on time. Fortunately, there are tons of fun and fashionable accessories you can choose for your child to make them more noticeable when they are riding their bikes around the neighborhood. No bike should ever be without bike lights, and you can mount them on your kids’ bikes on your own. You can also choose reflectors if they will be cycling after dark. You can also get them a safety flag which they can mount on their bike – it might be small, but it’s reflective and will certainly draw the attention of anyone driving. The best thing about safety flags is that they attach on the side, thus making vehicles pass the child further.
Get them a bell
Not only is it important for your kid to be seen when riding their bike, but they should also be heard. This is especially important in cases where they pass other cyclists and pedestrians. Suppose they don’t make their presence known in advance. In that case, there is a risk of another person suddenly changing direction because they will be under the impression that no one is behind them. Get your kids a small bell and mount it to their bikes to prevent these scenarios. Teach them that it’s ok to use the bell often to let others know they are approaching. If they don’t like the bell as much, you can get them a small bike horn instead – the sound is fun, and they will enjoy using it.
Protect their bodies
You know how important it is to protect your body when cycling, but kids often don’t understand why they have to do it. Just like you spend a long time looking for safe toys for them to play with, it’s your job and responsibility as a parent to protect them no matter how much they might complain. Their sense of balance is often underdeveloped, which means they might fall much more easily than a grownup. To add to it, they don’t have as much experience on a bike which only serves to prove they will likely miscalculate the potential risks and end up hurt. To prevent any big injuries, you should buy them a helmet to protect their head in case they do happen to fall. In some countries, bike helmets are required by law. In addition to a helmet, you can add elbow and knee pads, at least until they become more confident.
Make sure they have the right bike
When you are buying kids bikes, you should keep a few things in mind. The bike they will be using is supposed to be less than half of their weight. Unfortunately, those mass-produced market bikes are often way too heavy and bulky, sometimes even as heavy as the child. Because of this weight, such bikes are difficult to control. Not only is this lack of control frustrating, but it can be downright dangerous. In addition to bike weight, you should also pay attention to the seat, especially for their first bike. It is supposed to be about two to three inches above their inseam. They can put their feet on the ground easily and comfortably with this height. When it’s time to move onto their second pedal bike, the seat height should change so that it lines up with their inseam.
Teach them safety
You should teach them what they can do on their part to stay safe in traffic. This is because getting them a helmet and knee pads simply isn’t enough to protect them from reckless drivers, especially if they are reckless themselves. Teaching them proper ways to wear their safety gear is imperative, and making sure they are wearing it every time they are on their bike is even more so. The best way to start is by wearing your own helmet whenever you ride a bike. This will show them that it’s not just empty words, but a solid example. You should also demonstrate a proper way to wear a helmet so that it’s not too loose or too tight.
Educate them about traffic rules
One of the most important things your kids can know about traffic is its rules because it will help them in the future. Kids should be aware of their surroundings, and they should also know when and where to stop when riding their bikes. They should understand how to use arm signals when they are making turns. Explain how their arms are just like the turn signals on a vehicle and that they should extend their arms when they want to make a turn. When they extend their arms to indicate a turn, they let others know of their intentions, which means that drivers will often slow down and give them more space.
When you’re a parent, you spend a lot of time worrying about the safety of your kids. To make sure they are indeed riding safely, you should get them the best safety gear. Still, getting safety gear isn’t all there is to it, so teach them how to use it properly and how they should behave in traffic. Fortunately, there are many ways you can help them stay safe and protected when cycling. After the safety aspect is covered, you’ll find relaxing and enjoying this fun activity much easier.