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Bike Safety - How Parents and Kids Should Pedal Their Way To Bike Safety  

2010-05-12 08:30:56|  分类: 中考阅读 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Bike Safety Should Be Reviewed With Your Kids Often

A new bicycle remains a traditional favorite gift for kids for birthdays, Christmas, or other special events. But once the immediate excitement of receiving the bike is past, the responsibility of having a bicycle and the safety rules that apply should be taught to a child as a condition of riding it.

Whether it is pedaling their way to school or just to a friend's house down the street, parents need to take an active role with bike safety to ensure the trip doesn't result in harmful--even tragic--results. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control indicates that each year more than a half-million people nationwide are treated in emergency rooms, and more than 700 people die, as a result of bicycle related injuries. Children are at a particularly high risk, in part because the population age is the one often riding bikes, and children 15 years and younger account for almost 60 percent of all bicycle-related accidents.

Whether your kid is pedaling alone, with friends, or with an adult, these bike safety guidelines should always be followed for a safe ride:

  • Always wear a bike safety helmet. Make sure it fits snugly and does not obstruct vision.

  • Make certain the bike is well-maintained and in good riding condition. Parents should regularly check a bike to ensure the tires are aired up appropriately, the seat is on solid and straight, handlebars are in the correct position, and the chain is in proper condition. Remember that kids often routinely lay down their bikes or tumble, and those actions can cause damage to the bicycle.

  • If a new rider is still using training wheels, be sure the wheels are mounted correctly and that the training wheels still have appropriate wear. Many bikes for toddlers and youngsters are made inexpensively, especially the training wheels, because the belief is that they will not be utilized for a long period. Many a young kid has taken a terrible tumble for a bike in which a training wheel literally falls off, often delaying the child's interest or desire to ride a bike out of fear the training wheel could come off again.

  • Make sure the kid's bicycle is the proper size and, if adjustable, is at the right height for the rider right now. Parents sometimes make the mistake of "buying up" a bike in size with the premise their kid will grow into it soon enough. While the logic sounds reasonable, riding it will create bike safety concerns until the kid can properly sit and balance on the seat and touch the ground.

  • Kids should wear bright colors--fluorescent if possible--and avoid riding bikes in the evening or at sundown. If a kid must be out after dark, the bicycle should have a headlight visible for 500 feet as well as rear reflectors. Bicyclists should always wear appropriate shoes. Many bike safety accidents occur because young riders are wearing sandals, flip flops or even riding with bare feet.

  • Know your kid's route and time it takes to ride it, and require that they do not deviate from the established path or timeline. If your kid rides a bike to school or home, practice the route before the start of school and know where any crossing guards or help might be. If a younger child is riding a bike to a neighbors home and you are not monitoring the ride personally, require a phone call once the child arrives.

  • Drill your child of appropriate bike safety rules. If possible, have your child attend a bike safety class. The often-called bike rodeos provide an excellent training opportunity for kids.

  • Be sure your kid rides with traffic, is aware of motorists, and obeys all traffic laws. Be sure your kid knows not to stop and talk with anyone they do not know personally for their own personal safety.

  • Prohibit riding double or stunt riding. These actions create the opportunity for accidents waiting to happen.

  • Have your youngster understand that bike safety rules are just that and not an option. It is recommended that parents discuss privileges and consequences to riding without a helmet, riding with inappropriate clothing or footwear, or not following general safety regulations.

  • Ride with your child! Parents can always use the extra exercise, and a bicycle ride creates an opportunity for parent-child involvement and good quality conversation time.

  • Have a bike safety contingency plan...just in case! Does your child know a certain neighbor whose home can be considered a "safe house" in the event of a bike issue? Could your youngster carry a walkie-talkie or, if an older kid, even a cell phone on an emergency basis only? Parents should provide their kids with "what if" scenarios they can think through...just in case the unthinkable happens. When it comes to bike safety and your kid's well-being, there is no such thing as being over-prepared.

Once the above have been considered, relax and enjoy the ride! Bicycling is great exercise and is one of the greatest joys of childhood.

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