One of the joys of childhood is mounting your bicycle and pedaling for all your worth, racing friends, going on adventures and generally having fun. Most adults have sentimental memories of time spent on bikes, whether biking on trails through the woods or countryside or riding around the neighborhood with friends. Some have fond remembrances of riding to and from school.
Older adults may remember the days of riding without bicycle helmets, however, today's cyclists are very aware of bicycle safety and the importance of protecting the head. Teaching kids about bicycle safety can prevent injury and unnecessary medical bills. Such instruction doesn’t need to be a chore. We know how precious your kids are, so we’re covering five tips for teaching your child about it.
- Be the Change – When it comes to teaching kids anything, the “do as I say and not as I do” model never works. When you go for a bike ride, with or without kids in tow, follow the safety rules. Wear your helmet and obey the road rules. When kids see this as standard operating procedure they will comply with less opposition.
- Review the Rules of the Road – This is especially important for older kids who are biking solo or with friends. Little ones generally bike near home and aren’t allowed to cross streets alone. Older kids, on the other hand, have more free rein and are apt to bend the rules, particularly when friends are around. All it takes is one time of not obeying a traffic rule for someone to get hurt. Review the Florida bicycle regulations and make sure your child understands that these rules are not suggestions.
- Make Bicycle Safety Fun – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed a bicycle safety kit parents and teachers can use to help kids learn about and practice bike safety. This kit provides age-appropriate and entertaining activities, for kids from 4 to 11 years of age.
- Involve Your Child in Maintenance – While there may be limitations to what younger kids can do regarding bicycle maintenance, older children can get involved. You may not be into doing bike tune-ups yourself, but there are certain safety checks you’ll want to do to make sure the bike is in good working order. If you are into DIY tune-ups and you have older kids, get them involved. As soon as they are able to help, it’s beneficial to teach them how to keep their bikes in good running order.
- Talk About It – Learning doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Checking in with the kids every now and then about bicycle safety is a way to keep it on their minds. This doesn’t mean lecture about it, just reinforce its importance. It’s easy for kids to get lax about safety if there is never a discussion about the topic. After a day of riding hard, a few simple inquiries to let the kids know you are interested will go a long way toward keeping it present for them.
The attorneys at Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A. are committed to helping our community members in and around the Port Charlotte area stay safe. We are also dedicated to helping those who have been injured while biking. If you need our assistance or just want to discuss recourse that may be available to you in the event of an accident, contact us. We will schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We are trial lawyers who care.