Children's Bike Safety
Correct and consistent use of helmets and compliance with all legal riding practices can help to prevent biking collisions with pedestrians, other cyclists and motor vehicles. Children in particular are exposed to grave dangers with bike accidents because they are still developing and may not know how to handle the bike appropriately.
The scope of biking safety issues is serious across the United States. Research shared by Safe Kids International shows that approximately 630 children are injured every single day due to bicycle related accidents. More than 229,000 youth went to the emergency room for bicycle related injuries in 2009 alone.
There are several different strategies in place that could help to improve bicycle safety. First of all, parents should always be aware of the appropriate safety gear and teach children skills about how to navigate in and around their neighborhood. Being aware of potential risks can help children to deploy safe practices to decrease their chances of an accident. Helmets that are approved by the U.S. of product safety commission should be used with all children and helmets should be properly fitted and worn every time.
Educating people about the correct way to use helmets, give away programs in helmets subsidies implementing helmet use legislation can also decrease the number of children significantly injured or killed and bicycle accidents. Parents should also teach their children about the benefits of inspecting the bicycle to ensure that all the parts are working properly before getting on the bike to ride. Adjusting the bicycle to fit the child is extremely important because if the child is struck in an accident they may have greater chance of maintaining control of the bike and avoiding life threatening injuries as a result.Be Visible to Prevent Bike Accidents
One significant way for parents and children to decrease their chances of bicycle accidents is to ensure that the child can always easily be seen. Regardless of the time of day, a bicycle rider should be visible to other types of traffic. When motor vehicle drivers do not see a bicyclist, the chances of an accident are much higher and can be devastating.
Wearing bright, florescent and neon colors can help to make a child more visible on a bike, whether riding during the day or night. It is also strongly recommended to use anything that reflects light such as marking, reflective tape or flashing lights. Cyclists should remember that just because they can see a driver does not necessarily mean that the driver can see them. Having at least one hand on the handle bars at all times while operating the bicycle gives the rider, including young adults, a better chance of maintaining control of the bike if something were to happen. Maintaining control of the bicycle also means putting other items elsewhere, such as in a backpack or in a basket on the bike. Following these tips can give children greater mobility and chances to focus on the road in front of them. One thing that parents can do to help decrease the number of children who are involved in serious bicycle accidents is to avoid riding at night. It is much more dangerous to ride a bicycle at night than at any other time. If a child does insist on riding at night, it is important for him or her to be easily seen by others.
Wearing reflective clothing and reflectors on the front and the back of the bike can help others to see cyclists. It is strongly recommended these be installed at on any child's bike regardless of whether or not child intends to ride during the dark hours.
Many bicycle related crashes that lead to injuries and deaths for children are associated with the cyclists' behavior, including activities such as riding into the street and failing to stop, swerving into traffic or turning left when cars are coming from behind, riding the wrong way in traffic, or riding the bike to close to the street, running a stop sign, or failing to wear bicycle helmet.