Back to school - 10 things to keep your kids safe on their bike
It is September time and that means kids are going back to school. With the ever more congested roads, it does appear that a trend is appearing of more kids cycling to school.
More and more parents are seeing the benefits in time won in the morning (avoiding traffic jams) but also the health benefits from cycling to school.
Of course, cycling to school can be dangerous especially, when there is a lack of infrastructure. I remember as a child that it took some time before I was allowed to cycle to school from my parents. There were some obvious safety concerns, and rightly so :)
So what can you do as a parent to increase the safety of your kids whilst cycling to school? Here are 10 things to consider:
Don’t let them ride with headphones in
Hearing is crucial to observe any possible danger. On top of that, it is also possible for your headphones to fall out of your ears and get caught on your spokes. This could cause the bike to flip over and lead to some serious injuries
Teach your children how to use hand signals
Make sure your children are comfortable using hand signals as it is imperative to do whilst turning so car drivers can see where they are going
- Get your children to be comfortable looking over their shoulder to see what’s behind them
- The bike should be matched to the child’s height and experience
- Ensure the bike’s in proper working order. Check brakes and ensure correct lighting – red at the back, white at the front
- The saddle/seat needs to be at the right height
- Ensure the weight of the schoolbag doesn’t cause the child to wobble
- Ensure the safety helmet fits properly
- Wear a high-visibility vest
- Don’t allow children to wear loosely-worn scarves or other clothing that could get caught in the spokes or chain
Finally, if you do decide to join them on their ride, make sure you’re cycling behind them. This will allow you to give direction as to where the child should position themselves on the road.