How to Prevent Child Bicycle Accidents and Injuries

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Children love bicycles, but they are not particularly concerned with bike safety. It’s up to you, the parent, to make sure that they pedal responsibly, taking appropriate safety measures so that they won’t get involved in accidents with cars or injure pedestrians. Riding a bicycle is fun, healthy, and relaxing, but without proper bike safety it can be quite dangerous. Hundreds of cyclists die every year in America, and many of them are children.

  • Make sure your child wears a helmet. An adult helmet will most likely be too big. Children’s helmets are widely available today in stores as well as online bike shops.

  • Ensure that your little cyclist wears a custom bike jersey with a bright dye. Again, the jersey should be the right size. Adult jerseys can be too long and baggy, which in itself is a safety hazard while riding. Buy instead a custom bike jersey for kids – you’ll find them online.
  • Choose an adequate bike for your child. Children may be tempted by flashy bikes decked out with their favorite characters and cool graphics on them, but those bikes can sometimes be poorly-built. The bike has to be not only the right size, but also sturdy and responsive.
  • Install on the bike a loud bell or horn, a front and a back light, and proper mirrors, if it doesn’t have them already. Also, handle yourself the bike maintenance from time to time, making sure the tires are inflated and the brakes work and the chain is oiled. It’s a good idea to send the bike to a professional bike mechanic once a year if it’s used frequently.
  • Don’t let your children pedal in the road if they are new to cycling. Let them start with the backyard, driveway or parking lot. Ideally, you will want to enroll your children in a basic bike riding course – many schools offer them for free.

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  • Educate your children about cycling on the street. Theory alone is not too effective – it will only bore your children stiff. It’s far better to ride out with them on your own bike and give them a practical lesson. Choose quiet roadways with bike lanes and draw attention to the dangers of driveways and intersections, the need to ride with the traffic and obey the traffic lights and signs, and the importance of signaling with your hands when turning.
  • Don’t let young children, ride at dusk or at night. Night-riding in a city is a challenge even for professional cyclists. When your children are finally ready for night-riding, consider accompanying them on your own bike the first time they do it, giving them tips where appropriate.

Finally, it’s also important to make your biker child understand that he or she too can be a danger on the road. Young bikers crash into pedestrians, pets, and parked cars all the time, often causing more damage than they receive. Sometimes, a few harsh words and a punishment can do more good than well-meant lessons.

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Comments 4 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Excellent stuff we will be moving to a pedal bicycle in just a few weeks and this was a great refresher -- thank you


Better Yourself profile image

Better Yourself 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks Eric! Hope the transition goes well :)


sujaya venkatesh profile image

sujaya venkatesh 2 years ago

cycling is one of the best forms of exercise

thanks for sharing bet

safety must


Better Yourself profile image

Better Yourself 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks sujaya! Cycling really is great exercise.

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