The good news? The number of children killed riding bicycles has dropped significantly nationwide.
The bad news? More than 289,000 U.S. children are still treated in emergency rooms for bike injuries.
Even though Florida and 20 other states have laws requiring children to wear helmets, recent studies have concluded that more than half of young bicyclists don’t always wear helmets. Helmets can reduce the chances of head injury by 85 percent and severe brain injury by 88 percent.
CONSIDER THESE SAFETY TIPS:
- Always wear a helmet.
- Ensure the helmet fits. That means it should sit on top of the head in a level position and the straps must be buckled. Your child should be able to look up and see the bottom rim of the helmet. The straps should form a V under the child’s ears and hug the head.
- Ensure the bicycle is the right size for the child. Both feet should touch the ground when your child sits on the seat.
- Ensure your child doesn't wear long or loose clothing to avoid getting tangled in the bicycle.
- Ensure reflectors are secure, brakes work, gears shift smoothly and tires are inflated.
- When riding at dusk or dawn, ensure your child can be seen on the bicycle with reflectors or clothing and accessories that have retroreflective material.
- Tell your children to ride with traffic and not against it. Teach them proper hand signals and to obey traffic signs.
- Children younger than 10 generally should be limited to riding on sidewalks, parks and bike paths.
• Safe Kids Worldwide