As the training wheels come off your child’s bike, the risk for bike and wheeled-related injury may increase. To stay safe on two-, three- and four-wheeled toys and vehicles, little kids need to learn the rules of the road and practice safe behaviors so they can grow up to be big kids!
Unfortunately, bicycles are associated with more childhood injuries than any consumer product except the automobile. In 2001, 134 children ages 14 and under died in bicycle-related crashes and in 2002, more nearly 288,900 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for bicycle-related injuries.
A single rule – wear a helmet – it can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent. That’s why it’s so important to teach your kids bike safety as they enjoy their increased independence. You can greatly reduce your child’s risk of injury and death simply by setting some limits. Learn how to keep your child safe when riding a bike or wheeled vehicle. Explore the links below to learn more.
Nearly half of all bike-related hospitalizations are diagnosed as traumatic brain injury. Read more in Headed for Injury: An Observational Survey of Helmet Use Among Children Ages 5 to 14 Participating in Wheeled Sports (May 2004)
To learn more about bicycle related injury read Report to the Nation: Trends in Unintentional Childhood Injury Mortality 1987-2000 (May 2003).
Bicycle Helmet Safety Tips
- Make sure your child has the right size helmet and that he/she wears it every time when riding their bike, scooter or skateboard.
- Inspect bicycles, scooters, and skateboards to ensure that reflectors are secure, brakes work properly, gears shift smoothly, and tires are tightly secured and properly inflated.
- Actively supervise children
- Do not ride bikes, skateboards, or scooters around cars.
- Practice bike safety: learn the rules of the road, wear reflective clothes and stickers, and ride on sidewalks when possible
- Maintain equipment properly
Ways to Get Your Child to Wear a Helmet
- Wear one yourself; children are more likely to wear helmets when you do
- Make the “wheeled vehicle-helmet” connection early. Wearing helmets on their very first tricycle or bicycle will make it a habit.
- Establish the rule: No helmet, no bike.
- Let your child pick out (and even decorate) their own helmet so they are more likely to wear it.
- Explain that riding bikes can be dangerous. Wearing a helmet can keep them from severly hurting their head