Riding a scooter, trike, balance bike or bike of any kind is a fun, healthy and social way to travel to nursery, school or anywhere really. So it’s no surprise that more and more children are becoming outdoor fans.
But despite all the benefits, we know there can be worrying safety concerns, particularly when our children are old enough to ride to school. RoSPA offers a pretty extensive guide on how to ride a scooter and when, while a Bikeabililty cycling proficiency course is the best way to make sure your child is safe cycling on the road. There are lots of other things we can do to keep our future Tour De France winners safe…
Wear a helmet
- Wearing a helmet could save your child’s life. Surprisingly, it’s not a legal requirement for children to wear helmets but some schools have made it mandatory for any of their pupils who cycle in to wear a helmet.
- There are loads of funky helmets on the market so let your child pick out their own – they’ll then be more likely to want to wear it.
- Riding gloves and knee and elbow pads are also a good idea to protect your child from bumps and scrapes – especially if he’s only just progressed from stabilsers!
- It can be hard to be seen on the pavement, let alone the road so make your child stands out by wearing high visibility clothing and a reflective jacket or sash.
- Lights and reflectors on the front and rear of the bike are also essential. Make sure your child cleans them regularly otherwise they won’t be seen.
- Check light batteries regularly. Cycle bells are mandatory and will help your child let people know he’s there.
Rules of the road
- The best way to make sure your child is safe cycling on the road is for him to attend a cycling proficiency course, such as Bikeabililty.
- Encourage your child to stick to cycle lanes where available.
- Explain that traffic lights apply to them as well as cars.
- Junctions can be especially dangerous for cyclists so make sure your child pays particular attention to traffic at junctions.
- Look out for cars pulling out of driveways or parked cars joining traffic.
- Give parked cars a wide berth in case passengers don’t look and open doors.
- Use hand signals and look in all directions before turning.
- Avoid swerving suddenly.
- Never wear audio headphones or eat while riding.