It’s a fun and healthy sport, but health experts say before kids start riding a bike there are a few safety tips they need to know.
Sally Kreuscher, a child advocacy coordinator with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, says whether they’re beginners or seasoned riders, all children should wear safety gear when riding their bikes. “You want to make sure the seat fits them comfortably between their legs, their feet are on the ground, they’re not teetering from one side to the other, there’s a light in the front and a light in the back.”
Most importantly, make sure the child wears a helmet. “Florida law says a child under the age of 16 has to wear a helmet and unfortunately many kids don’t. Wearing a helmet could save a life,” said Kreuscher.
When picking out a helmet there are three things to keep in mind, how it fits on the forehead, the ears, and underneath the neck. “So, you place the helmet flat on the head. You want two fingers over the eyebrows, a V or a Y over the ears, and get it nice and snug. Open your mouth,” said Kreuscher.
If the child is in an accident while wearing the helmet, or if the helmet doesn’t fit properly, it’s time to get a new one. “If a child is wearing a helmet the chances of them being injured are less severe,” said Kreuscher.
To prevent accidents, parents should always supervise kids when they are riding the bike and check the bike and safety gear before each ride. “As a bicyclist you always want to ride with traffic, you don’t ride against traffic,” said Kreuscher.
Children under ten are encouraged to ride on the sidewalk as opposed to the street. All recommendations can prevent children from being injured in a bicycle accident.
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