Bicycle safety tips for children that every parent should consider
The quarantine measures taken due to the COVID-19 pandemic have left children across Florida out of school until September. Children now have more time and fewer places to go.
When the weather is nice, bicycling is a fun activity enjoyed by many. Bicycling comes with risks, however. According to statistics cited by MSN, the number of children in Palm Beach County who have suffered traumatic brain injuries after falling off bikes has tripled from March 2019 - March 2020.
A group called Safe Kids Palm Beach County is urging parents to ensure that their kids wear helmets when riding bicycles.
Why are helmets so important for safety?
According to the Safe Kids PBC program director Kathy Wall, about 91 percent of the kids who sustained traumatic brain injuries after falling off bikes were not wearing helmets.
During this time, parents should be extra vigilant when it comes to the safety of their children.
“Start them off with helmets as soon as possible so they know that’s the normal thing they’re supposed to do,” said Wall.
Other bicycle safety tips for children
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers some additional bicycle safety tips for children. These include:
- Adjust bicycle to fit: Make sure that your child's bike is properly-fitted. For a standard road bike, there should be a 1-2-inch gap between your child and the top tube bar. For a mountain bike, the gap should be 3-4 inches. The handlebars should be level with the seat and the seat should be adjusted to allow a slight bend of the knee when pedaling.
- Inspect bicycle before riding: Always ensure that your child's bicycle tires are properly inflated, brakes are working, chain is on tight, and no nuts or bolts are loose.
- Be seen: When riding during the daytime, wearing bright neon colors can help your child be seen by drivers. Reflective devices can help your child be seen at night, although it's not recommended that you let your child ride at night.
- Maintain control: Make sure your child learns how to maintain control of his or her bicycle. Encourage your child to keep both hands on the handle bars when riding.
- Beware of road hazards: Potholes, broken glass, puddles, leaves, dogs, and other hazards can be dangerous for children riding bicycles. Teach your child to look out for these hazards and do their best to avoid them.
- Avoid riding at night: It's not recommended that you let your child ride at night. Motorists don't always see bicyclists, especially when they are distracted. In addition, your child may not see road hazards.
West Palm Beach attorney serving injured bicyclists
If you or your child sustain a bicycle-related injury due to someone else's negligence, don't hesitate to take legal action. Bicycle accidents often result in serious injuries, costly medical bills, and other associated damages.
West Palm Beach attorney David J. Glatthorn can help you get the compensation you need and hold negligent parties accountable. To learn more, contact David J. Glatthorn, P.A. and schedule your free case review.