People talk about it and mourn for the loss of someone's child they don't know, and some learn from it and some don't. I get really angry inside when I see parents letting their kids get away with not following simple bike rules, like not playing in the streets. Yesterday I saw three girls around the ages of 8 to 10 riding their bikes down the middle of well used street. No helmets. What were they thinking? What were the parents thinking teaching their girls that that was alright? You think it is never going to happen to you or your kids, but let me tell you, it can and will if you aren't taking certain safety measures.
Since this challenge is including biking this year, I just want to share a few safety tips that most of us know, but some of us forget. Please help keep our children safe. If you are interested, click here to see some stats.
guide here. Also, a warning, don't let your child play on the playground or climb trees while wearing their helmet. Also put helmets on your children even if they are riding in a bike trailer.
2. Bike Trailer Safety: Like I said above, put helmets on your kids. Don't put children who are too young and small in bike trailer -- see specific bike trailer safety guidelines. Use the orange flag on the trailer so that cars and trucks are aware that you are hauling a trailer, some can't see because the trailers ride low. And make sure the trailer is latched properly per instructions. Also buckle them in! I can't tell you how many times I see families going down the road with kids jumping around in the back and standing up! Drives me crazy!
3. Teach your children to walk their bikes across the street. Lots of parents don't understand the purpose of this practice. I will tell you what my dad, a retired cop, told me. This practice of getting off the bike to cross the street not only helps drivers to be more aware of people crossing the street, it also instills caution in your children when it comes to roads. How many children have just zipped out on their bikes in front of your car before? If you teach your children to walk their bikes while they are in the streets they are less likely to be playing out there or riding into danger. My kids know to stop before every road now and get off their bikes. I feel safer taking them out because of it.
4. Remember that cars can't see bikes well. Lots of children that are dying these days are because they are being backed out over. Your child or you may be skilled enough, you think, to ride carelessly around in your "safe" cul-de-sac, but that is a false sense of security especially with the whole cell phone and text messaging going on in cars these days.
5. It's okay to be loud and flashy! Bike lights, bike flags, horns, streamers, bells -- Not just for looks -- all these things are to make your bikes and kids bikes visible. Sam has to ring his bike bell every time he sees a car because I told him once that was what he bell was for -- so that people knew he was coming.
So get out there on your bikes! Have fun! Just be safe. And a double thumbs up to all the families out there that do follow the safety rules.
Here's a fun coloring page I found for the kiddos:
Have a great weekend!!!