As the summer heat gives way to cooler, fall air, more people are hopping on their bikes. Cycling is a healthy and fun physical activity for your family to enjoy together, but some precautions should be taken.
Bicycle trips should include wearing a safety helmet. While many of us grew up without bike helmets, we now know the damage that can be done by simply falling from a bike and hitting your head, not to mention the more severe accidents involving other vehicles. Adults should also wear helmets to set a good example for our kids.
A properly fitted helmet is just as important as wearing a helmet. If your child wears a helmet but it’s loose or not fitted correctly, injury can still occur. Many hospitals offer free bike helmet fittings throughout the warm weather season at various community events. Trained helmet fitters can adjust your child’s helmet to fit properly, and in many cases helmets are available for purchase or free at the events.
Other aspects of bike safety include having the right size bike for your child and properly maintaining it. In addition, obeying the traffic laws is helpful and parents can educate their family while taking bike rides together.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol offers these safety tips:
Other helpful tips include:
These tips are helpful during the seasons of increased bike riding for children and their families.
Remind your child before each bike ride to follow rules to prevent injury from a collision. Ride safely and enjoy your summer.
Lori A. Schwalm, RN, is trauma education coordinator at Mercy and a Mercy Kids trained bike helmet fitter.