Bicycle / In-Line Skating / Skateboarding Safety - Prevention
Bicycling, in-line skating and skateboarding have many health benefits: They improve balance, strengthen the heart, lung and leg muscles, and burn calories. You and your child can get lifelong pleasure out of bike riding, in-line skating and skateboarding, but it’s important to instill good safety habits in your children before you let them roll away.
Bike safety tips
Bike safety rules to follow
Follow these safety rules to help make sure your bike ride is injury-free:
- Always wear a helmet.
- Stop before riding into traffic from a driveway, sidewalk, parking lot or other street.
- Look left, right, and left again to check for cars.
- Ride in the same direction as the traffic, on the far right side of the road.
- Wear bright colors and use reflectors so other people and drivers can see you.
- Obey all traffic lights and stop signs.
- Look back and yield to traffic coming from behind before turning left.
- Ride in a single file line.
- Check for cars before turning left.
- Use hand signals to show you are making a turn.
Buying the right bicycle
It is important to ride a bike that is the right size for you. Be sure it’s not too big or too hard to ride. You should be able to put the balls of your feet on the ground when sitting on the seat.
Buying the right helmet
Helmets come in a variety of sizes, styles, colors and prices. Whatever helmet you decide to buy, be sure it’s approved by US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Approved helmets will have a label on the inside of the helmet showing it meets strict safety standards.
Some helmets are multi-sport, which can be used for in-line-skating, skateboarding, bicycling or other wheel sports. Helmets specifically called "bicycle helmets" are designed only for biking.
Be sure the helmet fits correctly
Your helmet fits properly if:
- It’s snug and doesn’t move from side to side, or back and forth.
- It sits level on top of your head, just above the eyebrows.
- Both straps of the helmet form a V around the ear; with the bottom of the V just below the ear lobe.
- The chin strap is snug, only one finger should fit between the chin and chin strap.
In-line skates safety
Even experienced in-line skaters can crash and be injured. Please follow these tips to stay safe while skating:
- Always wear protective gear, such as elbow and kneepads, gloves, helmets and wrist guards.
- Buy skates with proper, strong ankle support.
- Warm up your muscles before skating by practicing slowly for about five minutes.
- Skate with knees slightly bent to keep your balance.
- Always skate on the right side of sidewalks paths.
- Pass on the left and warn others that you are passing.
- Avoid skating in the street. Check your skates regularly for wear and tear and be sure the wheels are tight.
When riding a skateboard, please follow these skateboard safety tips:
- Wear protective gear such as a helmet, padding and closed-toe and slip-resistant shoes.
- Check the skateboard for wear and tear.
- Allow only one person at a time on a skateboard.
- Practice tricks in special skateboarding areas, not on the sidewalk.
- Do not hitch rides from bicycles, cars or other vehicles.
Skateboards should never be used on the street. Even experienced skateboarders can fall, so learning how to fall safely can help keep you from being seriously injured.
- When losing your balance, crouch down on the skateboard so you won’t fall as far.
- If possible, roll as you fall, which keeps your arms safe.
Reviewed by: Gina Duchossois
Date: December 2011