Kids, bikes, and summer: 3 tips for a safe ride

Summertime is just around the corner. Kids throughout the country are counting down these last few days of the school year and making plans to meet up with friends, partake in summertime activities, or head to the local pool.

These are the days we want for our children — time to enjoy some much-deserved freedom. Not only does it help them build independence and important life skills, but it also frees up our schedules.

But how can we help our kids enjoy this activity safely?

It is true that there are dangers that come with biking, but the old saying about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure applies. We can take a few minutes and use these three steps to help better ensure our kids know how to use their bikes safely this summer.

#1: Review the gear

Biking is a whole lot more than it was when we were kids. The bikes themselves are more than just two wheels, brakes, and a couple of gears. Kids can have BMX bikes, fat tire bikes, road bikes, and specialty components. Take the time to look at the bike and make sure everything is in working order.

It is also a good idea to use a helmet. This can greatly reduce the risk of a head injury if the child falls off their bike or is hit by another biker or vehicle.

#2: Know the rules

These can vary by state, so check your local rules to ensure you do the right thing. In Alabama, bikers should ride on the right-hand side of the street, in the same direction as traffic. The law also requires bikers to stop at intersections, just like cars.

#3: Be bright

This one has a double meaning:

  • Be smart. Teach children to stay engaged. They should watch the traffic around them and prepare for evasive maneuvers if needed.
  • Be visible. Encourage kids to wear bright clothes and helmets as well as use lights and reflectors. Explain that these tools can help increase visibility and reduce the risk of a crash with a vehicle.

These proactive steps can go a long way to keeping our kids safe and helping them get out and enjoy some freedom this summer.

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