Bicycle riding in the summer is a lot of fun, but accidents can happen. Every year about 300,000 children go to the emergency room due to bike injuries. Some of the injuries are so serious that children may not survive. The most common serious injuries are head and brain injuries. Wearing a helmet is extremely important to provide protection for your face, head and brain in case of an accident. Under Oregon law, children under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet when bicycling. When you buy a helmet for your children, make sure that it fits properly.
Wearing bright clothes and having reflectors on your children’s bike can help them be seen. Day time riding is the safest for kids. Avoid loose clothing that can get stuck in your bike chain and wear sneakers or boots.
Keep focused on the road ahead so you can be prepared for hills and road obstacles. Some common obstacles may include
- Wet puddles
- Big puddles
- Changes in the road or sidewalk surface
- Storm grates
- Gravel or rocks
- Other people or children in your way
Set rules with your kids so they know where they can ride. Make sure they follow these road rules.
- Always ride with their hand on both handlebars
- Stop and check for traffic when leaving driveways and sidewalks
- Cross at intersections
- Walk your bike across busy intersections using the crosswalk and following traffic signals
- Ride on the right-hand side of the street, never travel against traffic
- Use bike lanes and designated bike routes whenever possible
- Don’t ride too close to parked cars.
- Stop at all stop signs and obey traffic lights, just as cars do.
- When passing other bikers or people, always pass on the left side, and call out “on your left” so they know you are coming.
- Use hand signals when turning and stopping.
Make sure your children are aware of these rules before they go out for a bike ride. Click here for more information .