Next week is Bike to School Day! Biking and warm weather reminds us that summer is almost here. Summer brings many opportunities for us to get outside and play outdoors. Riding bikes around the neighborhood, chasing down the ice-cream truck, playing on the playground. These are all activities we love to do, and it is even more important that they are done so safely.
It is a joyful time for children, but what steps can we take to keep it that way? By being safe!
As parents it is important to equip your children with the knowledge to practice safer habits. One large cause for injuries are bicycle accidents. To put into perspective how prevalent they are, nearly 500,000 people go to the hospital every year for injuries related to a bicycle crash. Do not let these numbers scare you, but rather encourage you to practice safe habits, and with a few tips you can be much safer!
Let’s start with the biggest tips for bicycle safety:
- Helmets: It is found that 75% of bicycle-related fatalities amongst children could have been avoided, if there were use of a helmet. Not only is it important to wear one, but it is also important that the helmet is being worn correctly.
- Be Visible: It is no surprise that cars are much larger than bikes, and therefore easier to see. Bicyclists on the other hand, may be much harder to spot. To try and combat this issue, have children avoid riding at nighttime, and if they do, have them wear bright or reflective clothing to increase visibility. Front white and rear red lights are required on bicycles by law and are an important additions to see and be seen.
- Signaling: In cars we use turn signals, we have break lights, and other features to let other cars know our next move. When biking it is just as important to have these features, so take the time to learn hand signaling. Creating an understanding between drivers and bicyclists can lower the number of accidents. Learning these hand signals with your family can be a fun activity, give it a go!
Check out these simple bicyclist signals!
Enjoying summer and creating new memories are important parts of childhood and practicing safe habits can only make it better. Taking the time to discuss these simple habits with your children can decrease risk of injury and increase their ability to make fun and safe memories.