Ah, summer in Western New York. It’s a great time to get the bikes out of the garage, giving your kids (and you) something to do—as well as incorporating some exercise! But before you hit the road, hit the brakes and think about bike safety.
Accidents can and will happen while biking, but these tips can help reduce the risk of serious injuries:
- Wear a helmet—every time! Parents, we know we didn’t have to wear helmets when we were kids, but now we know that children should wear a helmet every time they ride. Most of the serious and life-threatening injuries that children sustain from bike accidents are head injuries. By wearing a helmet that fits correctly, children reduce their risk of serious injury up to 85 percent. And parents, you’re not off the hook either. Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you have a helmet pass. Everyone in the family should strap a helmet on to avoid serious head injury.
- The helmet should fit—and be the right kind! Helmets only work if they’re the right size. They should fit solidly on your head and feel level. If you can move it from side to side, the helmet should be adjusted. Bike helmets are made specifically to protect from headfirst falls and should meet safety standards and have a CPSC (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) or Snell sticker inside.
- Clothing is important, too! Wear bright or reflective clothes while biking to be more visible to other bikers, pedestrians and especially cars. If you ever ride after sundown, reflectors or lights on the front and back of a bike and helmet will increase visibility and ensure safety.
- Choose the right fit! You should be riding a bike that fits your skill level and style, and most importantly is the right size for your body. For kids–don’t purchase a bike that a child will grow into. Your child should be able to sit on the seat with their feet flat on the ground and the handlebars should be no higher than their shoulders.
- Check it out! Either you or your child should check over the bike before every ride to make sure the seat, handlebars and wheels are all adjusted correctly and in good shape. Ensure that nothing is loose or falling apart, and that the tires have enough air.
- Pay attention! Wherever you are riding—the street, the sidewalk or a bike path—remember to watch for potential hazards, like sticks, rocks, or parked cars and be mindful of dogs, pedestrians and other bikers.
Accidents can happen anywhere—on the sidewalk, in the driveway, even on a quiet bike path—so make sure your child is prepared, supervised and aware of surroundings. Biking is fun, but safety comes first!
About Invision Health
Invision Health is a multi-disciplinary medical practice serving the Western New York region. Our caring team of board certified physicians, specialists, nurse practitioners and staff are dedicated to providing you with the highest standard of health care services using state-of-the-art technology. Find out more about our services.