While this summer is different than most, it is important for your children to still get outside for fresh air and exercise. A common activity that allows both, especially for children, is bike riding. On warm, sunny days and with the correct safety precautions and equipment, a bicycle ride can be good safe fun. Before going out for a ride, it is important to perform a few critical safety and gear checks to make sure your bike is safe.
Checking Your Helmet
Helmets are the most important way to maintain your safety on your bicycle. The helmet should cover your forehead without tipping back, leaving more of the back of your head covered and your forehead exposed, without space to fit a hat underneath. For protection and more visibility against the sun, look into helmets with built-in visors to shield your eyes. The straps should be able to be fastened without the helmet tilting back and without pinching the skin. Reflective patches should be on each side of the helmet. If reflective patches do not come with your helmet, you should attach reflective tape or stickers to allow drivers to see you when visibility is poor, such as around dusk. Other than areas installed by the manufacturer to provide ventilation, your helmet should be crack and hole-free to provide full protection. Your helmet is designed to protect your head and face in case of a fall or accident.
Making Sure Your Bike is the Correct Size
As your child grows, the size of the bike they will be able to use safely will as well. Ideally, your child will be able to stand with one leg on either size of the bike and their feet flat on the ground, with between one and three inches of space between the child and the top bar of the bicycle. If your child has recently gone through a growth spurt and you are unsure of the size of the bike you may need, visit your local sports store or bike shop. Professionals will be able to measure your child and determine the correct size for safe riding.
Safety Checks Before a Ride
Before you or your child take a bike out for a ride, it is important to do a couple of safety checks to avoid preventable accidents and injuries. These include:
- Making sure your child is not wearing loose clothing that can get caught in the bike chain. Loose shoelaces and backpack straps should be secured and tucked in to avoid getting caught as well. Your child should be wearing sneakers rather than sandals or flip flops because sneakers provide the best traction and grip on the pedals.
- The handlebars and seat should be tightened and completely secure.
- The tires should have sufficient tread and air.
- Perform a check of the brakes to make sure they are not sticking. Your chain should have enough traction without sticking.
Lastly, check the weather. If it has recently rained and the roads are still wet, hold off on going for a ride. Slick and slippery conditions can mean debris left on the road and lead to accidents and injuries.
Treatment for Bicycle Injuries in Cedar Grove, NJ
If your child sustains an injury while riding their bike, visit AFC Urgent Care Cedar Grove today! Our center is open seven days a week with convenient hours to accommodate your needs. Our center accepts walk-in patients, so you won’t need to worry about waiting for an appointment to get injuries examined. For questions, please call 973-239-2300.