Experience Brings Results

Bicycle safety: These tips can help protect your child

As a child, one of your favorite things to do may have been to hop on your bicycle and ride to a friend's house. Maybe it was a form of exercise you used to hang out with family members or cycling was how you got to school. In any case, bicycling was a part of life, and it still is for many people today.

For children who are riding on the roads, it's very important that they understand bicycle safety. Basic safety tips can help keep them safe, even if others are not paying attention.

One of the first things you should enforce as a parent is the need for a helmet. Your child should use a helmet, because if he or she is in an accident, it can help prevent a concussion or reduce the severity of a head injury if one does occur.

The bicycle should also be adjusted correctly, so your child has good control over it. The top bar should be around two inches away from your bottom if you are using a road bike. If using a mountain bike, the distance should be around three to four inches instead. The seat should always be level, and most handlebars are designed to be level with the seat. When seated, your child should be able to touch the ground when his or her legs are extended.

Another thing to do is to make sure you child is seen and heard. Use streamers, reflectors, bells and horns to make sure your child can draw attention. When drivers are aware of his or her presence, there's a lower risk of injury.

If your child is hurt in a crash despite riding safely, you can pursue a claim. A good settlement offer can make sure your child has what he or she needs to recover.

Source: National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, "Kids and Bicycle Safety," accessed May 18, 2017

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