Before riding, always make sure of the following:
- Tires are inflated properly
- Seat is secure and adjusted properly
- Brakes are working properly
- Check lights, reflectors (front, back, and pedals), and bell or horn
- Chain is oiled, greased and tight
- Handle grips are tight and secure
- Wheels have no wobbles and broken spokes
Many car/bike collisions take place when children are following each other. The first one may run a stop sign and get through, but the second one may get hit. Teach your child to assess the traffic situation for him or herself, and avoid following other children without thinking first.
For young children, set the following rules:
- No playing on the road
- No riding on busy streets
- No riding at night
- Stop for all stop signs
- Ride on the right with traffic
It's also important to teach your child about driveway safety. The best way is to go outside to the driveway, and practice the following steps:
- Stop before entering the street
- Scan left, right, and left again for traffic
- If there's no traffic, proceed into the roadway
Selecting a Bicycle
A bike that is too big or too small is dangerous to its rider. When choosing your bike, straddle it and make sure that both feet are on the ground. It's also important to make sure that the handle bars are within reach and easy to turn.
Selecting a Helmet
A properly fitted helmet should be snug and comfortable, and be unable to tip forward or backward. Helmets should be level from the front to the back, and extend down to about two fingers (3 cm) above the eyebrows. A proper fit can be obtained by using the adjustable foam pads and chinstrap. The front and rear straps should meet just below each ear. The chinstrap should be snug without pinching. Make sure to try on several helmets before you choose one.
Replacing a helmet
Bike helmets don’t last forever. Here’s a quick checklist to see if you should replace yours:
- Have you crashed while wearing it?
- Are there dents, marks or soft spots in the foam when you press against it?
- Is it more than five years old?
- Does it lack a certified safety standard sticker?
Check for bike helmet damage that may not be immediately visible: Look into your helmet and place your hands on either side, pulling apart gently. If you notice any light shining through the solid sections or weakness in the foam, replace it immediately.