How To Make Cycling To School Safer For Kids
Cycling to school is a fun and healthy way for kids to get to school, but it can also be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken.
Here are 5 tips for parents to help make cycling to school safer for their kids.
1. Plan a safe route
This one is often overlooked.
Before your child starts cycling to school, it’s important to plan a safe route.
Choose streets with less traffic, avoid busy intersections, look for roads that have bike lanes, and are well-lit.
Before your child starts riding to school, make sure that they are familiar with the route and know where they are going. If possible, ride the route with them a few times to help them get comfortable with the route.
2. Buy a properly fitted helmet
Make sure your child has a well-fitting helmet.
A properly fitting helmet can significantly reduce the risk of head injuries, but it’s important to make sure that your child’s helmet fits properly and is in good condition.
Unfortunately, a careless driver can cause an accident, and this is when a helmet can make all the difference to your child’s well-being.
To ensure that the helmet fits properly, make sure that it sits level on your child’s head and covers their forehead. It should also fit snugly without being too tight. Make sure that the helmet does not move around when your child shakes their head.
It’s also important to check the helmet for wear and tear regularly. If the helmet has been involved in a crash, it should be replaced immediately, even if there are no visible signs of damage.
3. Teach your child traffic laws and safe riding techniques
Teach your child to follow traffic laws and to be aware of their surroundings.
Remind them to obey traffic signals, stop signs, and to use hand signals when turning or stopping.
Teaching your child safe riding practices can help reduce the risk of accidents. Make sure that your child knows the rules of the road and how to ride safely. Teach your child to ride defensively and to be aware of their surroundings.
One important skill to teach your child is how to use hand signals. Hand signals can help communicate with other riders and drivers and help prevent accidents. Teach your child to use hand signals when turning, stopping, or changing lanes.
It’s also important to teach your child to ride predictably. This means riding in a straight line and avoiding sudden turns or swerves.
Your child should also learn to look over their shoulder before changing lanes or turning.
4. Focus on visibility and reflective/colorful clothing
Make sure your child always wears reflective and/or bright clothing, as well as lights and reflectors on their bike. These items will help increase their visibility to drivers and pedestrians, especially in low-light conditions.
Being visible while biking is essential for safety. Bright colors and reflective materials can help make your child more visible to drivers.
Make sure that your child’s bike is equipped with front and rear lights and reflectors on the wheels, pedals, and rear of the bike.
In colder weather, make sure that your child is dressed warmly and has gloves, a hat, and a scarf.
In warmer weather, make sure that your child is dressed in light and breathable clothing to stay cool.
5. Maintain your child’s bike regularly
A well-maintained bike is essential for safe riding. Regular tune-ups and maintenance can help prevent accidents caused by faulty brakes or other mechanical issues. Make sure that your child’s bike is in good condition before they ride it to school.
Common issues to look out for include loose or worn-out brakes, worn tires, loose chains, and loose or damaged pedals. If you are not comfortable doing the maintenance yourself, take the bike to a professional bike shop for a tune-up.
It’s also important to make sure that your child’s bike is the right size for their bike.
The bike should be easy to handle, and your child should be able to reach the ground with their feet while sitting on the bike.
If your child is involved in an accident
If your child is involved in an accident when on their bike, here’s what you should do:
1. Check for injuries:
First, make sure your child is safe and check for any injuries. If they have any serious injuries, call for an ambulance or seek emergency medical attention immediately.
It’s important to remain calm and provide comfort and support to your child throughout the process.
2. Seek medical attention
Even if your child appears to be okay, it’s still important to have them checked out by a doctor. Some injuries, such as a concussion or internal injuries, may not be immediately apparent.
3. Move to a safe place
If your child is not seriously injured and it’s safe to do so, move them to a safe place off the road or out of traffic.
4. Get contact information of people involved in the accidents + witnesses
Get the name, phone number, and address of anyone involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses who saw what happened.
5. Take photos
Take photos of the accident scene, including your child’s bike, any other vehicles involved, and any injuries your child sustained.
6. Notify the police
Call the police and report the accident, even if it’s a minor one. Ask for a copy of the police report.
7. Contact a personal injury specialist firm.
If you are insured, the personal injury firm can help you file a claim and provide guidance on the next steps.