Biking is a great way for kids to have fun, be active and gain a sense of freedom. Yet more children age 5 to 14 are seen in emergency rooms for injuries related to biking than any other sport. Follow these safety tips to help prevent bike injuries.
Top Safety Tips:
- Make sure your child wears a helmet on every ride. Helmets can reduce the risk of head injuries by at least 45 percent. Parents can set a good example by always wearing their helmet while biking too.
- Take the helmet fit test to ensure your child’s helmet fits correctly.
- Younger children, generally under age 10, should ride on sidewalks, parks or bike paths instead of the street because they are often not developmentally ready to ride with traffic. Older children who choose to ride on the street should ride on the right side of the road with traffic and obey traffic laws.
- Check that your child’s bike fits appropriately. You child’s feet should be able to touch the ground when he or she is sitting on the bike.
- Ensure your child’s bike is in good condition before going on a ride. Make sure wheels are tightly secured and tires are properly inflated, brakes work properly, and gears shift easily.
- Remember to use reflectors and/or a rear flasher and a front headlight if riding in early morning, at dusk or nighttime.
- City of Austin – Safe Routes to School – Pedestrian and bike safety education
- City of Austin – Urban Trails – Trail information
- Bike Austin – Bicycle advocacy organization
- Boneshakers – Biking and fitness programming for kids and families
- Ghisallo Foundation – Youth bicycle classes and clinics
- Simply Safety Store – Low-cost bicycle helmets for children and teens