HKQ Kids

Bike Safety Tips

As spring finally settles in, you may find yourself bringing the bicycles back out. Bike-riding is a good way to get some quality time with your kids, and it’s a great way to get some exercise and give them a bit of independence too. Keep these quick tips in mind so you can keep your kids safe while they’re riding around.

First and foremost, the most important part of bicycle safety is making sure helmets are worn. That goes for parents, too! Kids will be more likely to follow by your example rather than just being told to wear a helmet. Wearing a helmet that properly fits and meets all the standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission can help prevent serious head injuries.
You can read more about these standards here: https://www.cpsc.gov/Business--Manufacturing/Business-Education/Business-Guidance/Bicycle-Helmets

Speaking of helmets, since 2008, HKQ Kids has had an event every July where we give away free bicycle helmets to children 12 or younger who are accompanied by an adult; all of these helmets meet those CPSC standards, and they even come with a user’s manual as well. Check back here or at our page on Facebook for more details as we get closer to the annual event.

More Helmet Tips:

  • Helmets should be worn level on your head; tilting it too far back or forward will keep it from functioning properly. You want it to fit properly and to have your forehead covered.
  • The side/chin straps of the helmet should be snug; it doesn’t have to be to the point of being uncomfortable, but you ideally shouldn’t be able to fit more than one or two fingers between the strap and your face.
  • Replace your helmet if it protects your head in an accident, even if there’s no visual damage to it. Helmets are specifically designed to provide protection against one impact. Additionally, even if a helmet’s never been involved in an accident, it should be replaced if it’s more than 5 years old. Between regular wear-and-tear and the elements, the helmet becomes less durable and effective after this amount of time.
  • Speaking of the elements, try not to store helmets in direct sunlight. Being exposed to heat for a long period of time can wear down the protective materials inside the helmet.

Other Bicycle Safety Tips:

  • If you’ve got a choice, ride on the sidewalk instead of the road. If you do find yourself on the road, ride in the same direction as traffic and keep as far off to the right as possible.
  • When driving near cars, make sure your kids know the rules of the road, hand signals for turning, etc. Hopefully they’ll remember these tips when it’s time to teach them how to drive too!
  • You want to be as visible as possible when riding your bike; wear bright clothing and use reflectors. This is especially important for when the sun is setting.
  • Avoid loose-fitting clothes. This will minimize the risk of getting caught on anything.
  • Make sure your kid’s bike is right for him or her. If their feet can’t touch the ground when they’re seated, it’s the wrong size for them.
  • Remember to inspect your bike(s) before use, especially if it’s been a while since the last time anyone’s used it. Double-check your brakes and make sure the tires are inflated properly.
  • Just like with any other activity, make sure your kids are where you can see them. For older kids and teenagers, make sure you know the area they’re riding in is safe if you’re not around.

For more tips, go to HKQKids.org or find us on Facebook and Instagram.