Have you taught your child everything they need to know about bicycle safety?
Summer is here again and the mind of many parents will turn to one of the most scary topics – bicycle safety. After all, who doesn’t worry about their child zooming around on two wheels, unprotected by airbags, seatbelts, or a cage of metal?
The best approach to ease your mind and feel comfortable letting your young ones explore on their bicycles is to ensure that you have armed them with the knowledge to stay safe. With a little bit of guidance (and maybe some humour), you can ensure your child is well-equipped to handle the dangers of bike riding. So, have you taught your child everything they need to know about bicycle safety? Let’s find out.
Always wear a helmet
First and foremost, let’s talk about helmets. If your child is going to ride a bike, they absolutely need to wear a helmet. And not just any helmet, mind you – it needs to fit properly, sit snugly on the head, and be fastened securely. You don’t want that helmet flying off at the first sign of trouble.
But here’s the thing – kids aren’t always thrilled about wearing helmets. They might complain that they’re uncomfortable, that they mess up their hair, or that they look silly. And that’s when you bring out the big guns – the embarrassing photo of you from childhood, with your ridiculous helmet and neon windbreaker. Trust me, your child will be grateful for their modern, stylish helmet after they see that picture.
Follow the rules of the road
Next up, we need to talk about the rules of the road. Kids are notoriously bad at following rules (just ask any teacher), but when it comes to bike riding, there are a few key ones they absolutely need to know. For starters, they must ride on the right side of the road, just like cars do. They also need to obey traffic signals and signs and use hand signals to indicate when they’re turning or stopping.
But let’s be real – kids aren’t going to magically transform into law-abiding citizens just because you told them to. That’s where bribery comes in. Promise them a treat or a special privilege if they can demonstrate good bike-riding behaviour for a certain amount of time. Just make sure they know that the treat will be revoked if they break any rules.
Make them visible
Last but not least, we need to talk about visibility. Bikes are hard for drivers to see, especially in low-light conditions. That’s why it’s so important for your child to wear bright, reflective clothing and accessories when they’re riding. It might not be the height of fashion, but it beats getting hit by a car. You basically want them visible from the moon. Flashing lights, reflective vests, a jacket so bright yellow that it is admired by bees from miles around.
And if your child is still resistant to the idea of wearing a neon vest or reflective armbands, just tell them they’re part of a secret spy mission. Kids love spy missions.
Teach them bicycle maintenance
As a parent, teaching your child how to maintain their bicycle is an important responsibility. Not only does it ensure their safety while riding, but it also saves you the headache of dealing with a broken bike every other day.
Step 1: The Basics
Start with the basics: tire pressure, brakes, and chains. To make it more fun, ask them to imagine their bike as a robot that needs to be kept in tip-top shape to run smoothly.
Step 2: The Demo
Show them how to check the tire pressure by squeezing the tires (just like checking the firmness of a fruit!). Then move on to the brakes, and explain how they should never ride their bike if the brakes aren’t working properly. Finally, show them how to clean and lubricate the chain so that it runs smoothly.
Step 3: The Practice
Now comes the fun part: practice! Let your little one do everything you have shown them under your watchful eye. There may be a few mishaps, like when they over inflate the tires and the tire bursts with a loud pop. But hey, that’s how they learn!
Step 4: The Reward
After all the hard work, go for a ride together. Your child will be beaming with pride, knowing that they had played a big part in making sure their bike was safe and ready to go. It can be a great bonding experience.
So, have you taught your child everything they need to know about bicycle safety? Maybe not – there’s always more to learn. But armed with these tips, you can rest a little bit easier knowing that your child is well-prepared for their next bike adventure. And of course, to be certain that they’re protected at all times and that their bicycle is as well, it’s a great idea to get Cachet’s City Rider insurance plan for the entire family. Peace of mind is as priceless as your little one’s safety!