Summertime Safety for Kids on Bicycles

July 13, 2022

School is out, and summer is here, which brings an increase of bicycle accidents. Every year more than 2.2 million children between the age of 5-17 years are treated in US hospital emergency departments for bicycle related injuries. The majority of accidents occur at intersections, parking lots, sidewalks, and medians. Children typically overestimate their skills and abilities and are less experienced in judging speed, traffic, and other risks. As a result, it is not a matter of “if” children will fall, but rather how to protect them from serious injury when they do. The most common injuries are to the upper extremities followed by lower extremities, face, head, and neck. Even though safety efforts have expanded, children are still getting injured in preventable ways. To avoid or minimize the risk of injuries, parents need to be vigilant about teaching their kids safe and responsible riding habits.

Bicycle Safety for Parents and Children

Everyone should practice these safe biking guidelines, parents included. Remember your children will model your actions and behavior.

  • Never ride a bicycle without a high-quality helmet, no matter the distance. Helmets should be properly fitted and must meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) bicycle helmet standard (16 C.F.R. part 1203)
  • Make sure all equipment on the bicycle is in working order. Check that the seat is adjusted to the proper height and locked. Make sure that the tires are adequately inflated.
  • Install lights and reflectors: Florida Law requires that the front of the bike be equipped with a headlight lamp that exhibits a white light visible for 500 feet, and the rear of the bike be equipped with a taillight lamp and reflector visible for 600 feet.
  • Wear neon, fluorescent, or other bright clothing. If riding at night, wear reflective clothing. Wear appropriate shoes (such as sneakers). Avoid wearing flip-flops or riding barefoot.
  • Do not wear headphones so that you can hear the traffic and pedestrians around you. Never text and ride.

Teach your child traffic laws and obey all street signs.

  • Use bike lanes whenever you can.
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic and stay as far to the right as possible.
  • Obey all traffic laws, including signs, signals, and lane markings.
  • If crossing a roadway, it is safest to walk your bicycle in the crosswalk. Cross at intersections, and never pull out into the roadway from between parked cars.

If your child becomes injured riding a bike, it is important to take your child to pediatric specialists who are experts in treating only kids. At Children's Orthopaedic and Scoliosis Surgery Associates, LLP our board certified, fellowship trained, specialists provide the best child-friendly care using the latest cutting-edge technology that results in the safest and most accurate outcomes If you suspect your child sustained an injury from riding a bike, please call our office at (727) 898-2663.

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Dan Bland, Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon.

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