Banner Health Services  

Bike safety

Tracey Brown  

Tracey Brown is the Injury Prevention Coordinator for Cardon Children's Medical Center

Question:  I am concerned about the safety of my grandchildren when they ride their bikes in the street.  What can I do to keep them safe?

Answer:  Learning to ride a bike is a developmental milestone in the life of a child.

The bicycle, a child's first vehicle, is a source of pride and represents independence.  But often children are seriously injured, or even killed, when they fail to follow basic bicycle safety rules.

Banner Children’s Hospital and the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest that your grandchildren needs to wear a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how close to home. Many accidents happen in driveways, on sidewalks and bike paths, in addition to streets. The majority of bike crashes happen near home. A helmet protects your grandchild from serious injury, and should be worn at all times. Always wearing a helmet helps children develop a good habit.

Have your grandchildren ride on the right, with traffic. Riding against traffic confuses or surprises drivers. Almost one fourth of bicycle-car collisions result from bicyclists riding against traffic. Also, kids age 10 and younger need to ride on the sidewalk and walk their bikes across the street when not with an adult.

It is a good idea to teach proper hand signals to your grandchildren before they begin to ride in the street.  The signals are an important communication link between cyclists and motorists.

It's never safe for your grandchildren to ride a bike at night. Night riding requires special skills and special equipment few children possess. Riding a bike is fun, but it needs to be done safely. Unfortunately, most people don't realize hundreds of thousands of children are seriously injured and more than 600 die each year in bicycle accidents.

To keep your grandchildren safe, teach them these basic safety rules: wear a helmet, ride with traffic, use appropriate hand signals, walk bikes across the street, and don’t ride at night.  Basic safety measures like these can keep bicycle riding enjoyable and safe for your grandchildren.

 

Page Last Modified: 08/05/2013
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