This summer, your child may not be able to do many of the activities they are used to including camps, athletics and day trips with their friends. However, one of the things that can remain the same with proper safety precautions is going for a ride on their bike for fresh air and exercise. Before going for a ride, make sure you or your child perform the following safety checks to prevent accidents and injuries.
Make sure the helmet is the correct size
Your child’s helmet should be worn every time they go for a bike ride and is designed to protect the head and face in the event of a fall. The helmet should cover their forehead and be able to be strapped in without tilting back or moving from side to side. It should be snug and worn directly over the head; a hat should never be worn with the helmet. If the sun is getting into your child’s eyes, look into bicycle helmets with built-in sun visors to improve visibility. Reflective tape or stickers should be applied to all four sides of the helmet to make the rider more visible to other drivers on the road. Routinely check the helmet for signs of wear and tear including cracks or holes. If you notice damage on your helmet, it is time for a replacement.
Is the bike the right size?
Your child is continuing to grow as they get older, and as their height adjusts, so will the requirements of the bike they ride. A safe bike for your child to ride will allow them to stand with one leg on each side with both feet flat on the ground and between one and three inches between your child and the bicycle’s top bar. If your child has outgrown their bike from last year, visit a local bike shop or sporting goods store to have them measured and find one that is the correct size.
What to check before a bike ride
Before your child rides their bike, make sure you perform a few safety checks to make sure that the bicycle is ready and safe to ride. These checks help prevent injuries and accidents.
- Check that the bicycle seat, handlebars and tires are secure. The tires should also have sufficient tread and air for easily controllable steering.
- Your child should not be wearing any loose clothing or have anything hanging off that could potentially get stuck in the chain, including untied shoelaces and backpack straps. They should also wear sneakers for better grip on the pedals, unlike flip flops or sandals with poor traction.
- Check the brakes and chain to make sure they are functioning properly and do not need adjustments or oil before going for a ride.
- What does the weather look like? If it has rained recently and debris is visible in your neighborhood, have them wait until there has been time for the roads to dry out a bit. Wet streets and sidewalks can lead to slick conditions, and wet leaves can be slippery and cause loss of control, leading to injuries including fractures, scrapes and cuts that require medical attention.
Injury Treatment for Bicycle Injuries in Aberdeen, NJ
If your child falls off their bike and sustains an injury, visit AFC Urgent Care Aberdeen for treatment! Our walk-in urgent care can treat a wide range of injuries from bone breaks and fractures to cuts that require stitches to muscle sprains. We are open seven days a week and accept most major insurance plans. For questions, please call 732-583-5100.