Summer Bike SafetyAugust 31, 2022 | By Child Care Aware of Kansas
Cherie Sage, State Director, Safe Kids Kansas. Originally published in the Summer 2022 Issue of Kansas Child Magazine.
What could be better than riding a bicycle on a beautiful, sunny day? Besides being a whole lot of fun, biking is great exercise and reduces stress. Plus, you can do it together as a family.
When we learn to ride a bike, falling is part of the process. Practice in a safe space free from traffic, like a bike path or an empty parking lot. It’s also important to wear the right protective gear.
Bike crashes can cause serious harm, including brain injuries. For protection, riders of all ages should use a bike helmet.
With so many shapes and designs available, it’s easy to find a good-looking, comfortable, and adjustable helmet for everyone in the family.
When it comes to helmets, Safe Kids Kansas recommends an“every ride” rule for your family. Yep, it’s that important. Helmets protect your brain and give you peace of mind.
Whether you ride a bicycle, a tricycle, or even a unicycle, you can keep your family safe by following just a few simple guidelines.
- Wear a helmet that fits properly in order to prevent traumatic head injuries.
- Ride on the sidewalk or designated bike path when you can. When that’s not possible, ride in the same direction as traffic, as far to the right-hand side of the road as possible.
- Use hand signals and follow the rules of the road. Drivers should be able to predict your next move. Make sure you ride in a straight line, and don’t swerve between vehicles.
- Wear bright colors and use lights, especially when riding in the evening and early in the morning. Reflectors on your clothes and bike make you more visible.
- Ride with your children. Stick together until you are confident your kids are ready to ride on their own. Be a good role model by riding safely and wearing your own helmet.
Enjoy the fresh air and pedal away! To learn more about bicycle safety, visit safekids.org/bike.
Cherie Sage, State Director, Safe Kids Kansas
Cherie is an alumna of Baker and Washburn Universities and a graduate of Leadership Greater Topeka. She has worked for Safe Kids Kansas, a nonprofit coalition dedicated to childhood injury prevention, for nearly 20 years and resides in Topeka.