Getting On A Bike: Simple Safety Tips for Little Ones

With Christmas having just been we’re sure that a lot of lucky kids receive shiny new wheels from Santa! And with the weather as lovely as it is, we’re also sure a lot of kids will be begging to head outside for a spin.

Bikes are lots of fun for all ages and great for fitness but what can you do to ensure your children are safe when riding?

First things first, explore your local area and parks and find a good path the whole family can ride on. The Bicycling WA website states that people of all ages are now allowed to ride on footpaths (April 2016).

Keep It Real

Don’t be tempted to get a bigger bicycle your child can grow into. Imagine trying to run in shoes too big for you. Pretty dangerous isn’t it? The same applies for bikes. It’s important to choose the right size for your child so make sure yours has the best one suited for them.

Give them some responsibility

No matter what age your kids are, they’re not too young to start learning how to look after their bike. Teach them to go through a bicycle safety checklist each time they go for a ride. This includes bells, brakes, reflectors, chain, tyres and pedals.

Not only will this demonstrate good practice, they will be able to find any issues with their bike before it becomes a problem.

This is a great habit to form and hopefully transfer to when they are older and start to drive a car!

The low down on helmets

Wearing a helmet when riding a bike is a legal requirement in WA. You should ensure that your child’s helmet fits correctly and meets the Australian Standards Mark (AS/NZS 2063: 2008).

Helmets should be light (less than 350g is best) and of a bright colour to increase visibility when out on the road. Avoid second hand helmets and replace the helmet if it has been subjected to a severe blow or is showing signs of wear and tear.

Does your little one object to wearing a helmet? Always remind them that no helmet equals no ride. It’s always good to point out to them how bigger and older kids are wearing their helmets when you’re out and about to show them that EVERYONE needs to wear a helmet.

Songs are a good way to teach your little ones, here are some great songs to also sing to help them understand why helmets are important:

Polly put your helmet on (To the tune of ‘Polly put the Kettle on’)

Polly put your helmet on,
Polly put your helmet on,
Polly put your helmet on,
Let’s go for a ride

My helmet (to the tune of ‘Pop goes the weasel’)

Round and round the path I go,
I always wear my helmet,
No matter where I ride my bike,
On goes my helmet.

More information:

SDERA’s Smarts Steps program has a great range of road safety education information and resources for families and anyone transporting young children. The resources include ideas for parents and carers to help young children develop skills, behaviours and attitudes to become safer while travelling as passengers, pedestrians and users of bikes and wheeled toys.

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