July 18, 2019

Why You Should Always Wear a Helmet – Bike Safety Tips for Kids and Adults

always wear a helmet - bike safety tipsBy Beverly Hopps

Did you know that properly fitted helmets can reduce the risk of head injuries by at least 45 percent? It’s a true, hard fact, yet less than half of children age 14 and under usually wear a bike helmet. Like we were here to tell you that, yes, sunscreen is cool, wearing a helmet is cool, too!

There are so many great reasons to ride your bike: it’s fun, it’s great exercise and transportation, and it’s good for the environment. We want kids and families to ride their bikes as much as possible, but we know sometimes accidents happen.

Bike Safety Tips for Kids

While it’s easy to hop on a bike, there is always a risk of injury. Here are a few key tips for a fun and safe bike ride:

1. Wear a properly fitted helmet. It seems basic, but it’s worth repeating when it’s the best way to prevent head injuries and death. Whether your bike ride is one minute, two minutes, five minutes or 60 minutes – wear a helmet!

2. Ride on the sidewalk when you can. If not, ride in the same direction as traffic as far on the right-hand side of the street as possible.

3. Use hand signals and follow the rules of the road. Be predictable by letting drivers know where you plan to go. Make sure you ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between cars. Do you know the proper hand signals and rules of the road? 

4. Wear bright colors and use lights, especially when riding at night or early in the morning. Reflectors on your clothes and bike will help you be seen.

5. Ride with your children. Stick together until you are comfortable for your kids to ride on their own.

Always wear shoes and appropriate clothes for biking that won’t get caught on anything. A safe bike ride is a fun bike ride!

Beverly Hopps is an educator with Safe Kids WNC for Mission Health.