When a child receives his or her first tricycle or bicycle, a lifelong pattern of vehicle operation is begun. A bike is not just a toy, but a vehicle that is a speedy means of transportation, subject to the same laws as motor vehicles.
Training Children in Proper Use of Their Bicycles
- Parents should set limits on where children may ride, depending on their age and maturity.
Most serious injuries occur when the bicyclist is hit by a motor vehicle.
- Children must be provided with helmets (approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission [CPSC]) and taught to wear them properly on every ride, starting when they get their first bike or tricycle.
- The most important “Rules of the Road” for them to learn are
- Children should never ride at dusk or in the dark. This is extremely risky for children and adults. Your child should be told to call home for a ride rather than ride a bike.
- Children should receive training in bicycle riding, including “Rules of the Road,” and should have their privilege with the bike withheld if they ignore safety rules or don't wear a helmet.
- Children should learn how to keep their bikes in good repair, with parents checking the tires, brakes, and seat and handlebar height annually.
Copyright © 1994 American Academy of Pediatrics. All rights reserved.