Spring 2013
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Staying Safe on Two Wheels: Bike Safety Checklist


Learning to ride a bicycle is a rite of passage for many young children in the United States. Provided you take the important precautions, biking is a wonderful way for children and adults to enjoy the outdoors. Before you take off for a ride in neighborhood, follow this checklist for safety:

  • Wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet every time you ride. Not sure if your child's helmet is the right size? Watch this brief video from SafeKids.org to learn how to test your child's helmet fit. If you're still unsure, ask an expert at your local bike store. And be a role model wear your helmet, too.
  • Check your equipment. Before riding, inflate tires properly and check that the brakes work. Riding a bike that is the right size for you also helps keep you safe. Adjust the seat and handlebars for a good fit.
  • See and be seen. Remember, just because you can see a driver doesn't mean the driver can see you. Wear bright clothes and put reflectors on your bike to help other people on the road see you. Daytime riding is the safest. Avoid riding your bike at night.
  • Use All Your Senses. All of your senses must be alert when you are biking, eyes and ears especially. Leave your headphones or ear buds at home and be on the lookout for hazards such as potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, leaves and dogs.
  • Control Your Bicycle. Always ride with at least one hand on the handlebars. Carry books and other items in a bicycle carrier or backpack.
  • Know Where to Ride. Kids younger than 10 years should ride on the sidewalk and avoid the street. No matter where you ride, keep an eye out for cars and trucks. If you must cross a busy road, it's best to walk your bike across the street.

Please note: These tips were adapted from bike safety information published by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Additional Resources:

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration Bicycles

SafeKids.org Bicycling and Skating Safety Resources

Kidshealth.org Bike Safety

Staying Safe on Two Wheels: Bike Safety Checklist

Good Health for Kids is produced by Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas.