As summer progresses, you and your children may want to spend more time outside, particularly on warmer, sunnier days when the rain and clouds break. Making sure your children know how to ride safely and use the correct equipment can help prevent injuries and accidents. Before your child gets on their bike, make sure you go over proper safety protocol.
The Importance of Bike Helmets
Anyone riding a bicycle should wear a properly fitting helmet each time they go out for a ride. Helmets protect your head, skull and brain if you fall off. Your helmet should have a sticker that declares that it meets rules and regulations set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and should meet the following standards:
- The helmet fits snugly and does not tip back. A properly fitting helmet should cover your forehead.
- The straps can be fasted without pinching the skin or allowing the helmet to slide.
- You cannot fit a hat under the helmet. For sun protection, look into helmets with visors built in to shield your eyes from direct sunlight.
- Your helmet should have reflective patches or stickers to allow drivers on the road to see you, even in low visibility.
- Your helmet should not have any breaks or cracks other than ventilation areas installed directly by the manufacturer.
Making Sure Your Bike is Properly Sized
The size of your child’s bicycle will change as your child continues to grow. Your child should be able to stand over the top bar of their bicycle with both feet flat on the ground, with 1-3 inches of space between the child and the top bar. If you are unsure of the size of bike your child needs, visit your local sports or bicycle shop to be measured. In addition, you should make sure your child wears sneakers when riding, not flip flops or sandals. Sneakers provide adequate traction and grip on the pedals to reduce the chance of slipping. Clothing, backpack straps and shoelaces should be tight or folded in so they do not get caught in the bike chain, which can lead to falls.
Safety Checks Before You Go for a Ride
Before you go for a bike ride, make sure you perform the following safety checks:
- Make sure your seat and handlebars are secure and your tires have sufficient air
- Check your brakes to make sure they are not sticking, which can lead to accidents
- Make sure your chain has adequate traction
- Check the conditions of the roads. Avoid riding immediately after a rainstorm, when the roads may be slick and fallen leaves can make it more slippery. Large puddles should also be avoided especially if they are in congested areas where your child may need to interfere with traffic to pass them.
Bicycle Injury Treatment in Southcenter, Kent, Tukwila, Renton & SeaTac, WA
If you or your child sustains an injury while bike riding, visit AFC Urgent Care Southcenter today. We can provide diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of non-life-threatening injuries, including fractures, lacerations and sprains. Our center is open six days a week with convenient hours to meet patients’ needs. For questions, please call 425-970-8117.