What are some kids bicycle safety precautions?

Although bike riding is a fun way to exercise, many cycling accidents occur each year due to unsafe equipment, poor visibility and ignoring the rules of the road. It's important to teach children bicycle safety rules to keep them safe when they're riding their bikes.

Choosing the proper bike and maintaining it regularly is foremost. You need to occasionally test the brakes, check the tire air pressure and oil the chain. Children grow rapidly so it's important to check if they've outgrow their bicycle from time to time. Riding a bike that's too small or too large is dangerous. Your child's feet should be able to rest comfortably on the floor while he's sitting on the seat and his hands should be able to reach the handlebars. In addition, your child must wear a proper bike helmet, which fits snuggly on his head and meets the approved safety standards.

Many accidents occur during sunset or after dark when visibility is low. Therefore, whenever possible, kids shouldn't ride at night. If they must ride at night, attach reflectors or lights on the front handlebar and under the seat. Children should dress in bright colors so they're easily seen and they should not wear loose or baggy pants that might get caught in the wheels. Most importantly, they need to wear closed shoes, not sandals or flip flops; the shoes should have a good grip on the pedals.

Children must obey the rules of the road just like any driver of a motor vehicle. They should learn the bicycle hand signals and use them properly. They should never ride against traffic or cross the street at a red light. Even if there is a bike lane, children should be alert to their surroundings. Some drivers don't pay attention to bikers or don't notice them until it's too late; therefore, it's better to bike ride on quiet streets than on a busy highway. Furthermore, children younger than 10 years old should ride on the sidewalk, not in the street.