Most kids like to hop on a bike, whether to explore the world around them, or as a reliable method of transportation, and that goes double for kids immersed in Northern Colorado’s bike culture. Most kids aren’t cognizant of the dangers inherent in riding around on two wheels, so parents need to educate them on the finer points of bike safety for kids. Check out our bike safety steps below and save our infographic to use when educating your kids!
1. Find a Helmet that Fits
Most parents understand a helmet is an essential part of bicycling, but fewer know how to get a helmet that fits properly. A helmet should sit square on a child’s head, about two fingers’ width above their eyes. Buckles should be centered under their chin, and when buckled, the helmet should be tight enough to stay securely on their head. Learn more helmet fitting tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
2. Stick to the Sidewalk
Riders who keep their bikes on the sidewalk are a lot less likely to have a mix-up with motorists.
3. Teach the Rules of the Road
When your child is ready to ride on the street, go over basic traffic rules with them, such as riding in the same direction as traffic and coming to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights. Avoiding motorists is much easier when bicyclists behave properly. Teach your children about the importance of obeying traffic signals as if they were a car, including observing stop signs. Always travel with the direction of traffic, and use proper hand signals.
4. Stay Visible
Wear brightly colored clothing to catch drivers’ eye, and use lights at night as required by law. Shorter bicyclists can benefit from a flag that places them at the driver’s eye level.
5. Stay In Control
Keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times. Cargoes such as books, groceries, and toys should be carried in a backpack or a basket on the bike so as not to interfere with the operation of the bike.
6. Maintenance Is Important
Periodically check your child’s bike to ensure tires are inflated properly, lights are operational and brakes still work.
With these bike safety tips for kids, parents can feel confident their children are ready to hit the streets on two wheels! For more information about bicycle safety or other educational programs offered by the City of Fort Collins, visit fcgov.com/bicycling.
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