Bicycles are linked to more childhood injuries than any consumer product except automobiles. In fact, each year, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are treated in emergency departments, and more than 700 people die as a result of bicycle-related injuries.
Children are at particularly high risk for bicycle-related injuries. In 2001, children 15 years and younger accounted for 59 percent of all bicycle-related injuries seen in emergency departments across the U.S.
Bike safety tips
- Make sure your child wears a helmet at all times when cycling, skating or skateboarding.
- Measure your child’s head before buying a helmet. Then, be sure you get the right size.
- Ensure children wear their helmets properly; loose helmets may not protect a child’s head in a crash.
- Make sure your child is riding a bike that is the right size.
- Inspect your child’s bike for proper maintenance. This includes checking the brakes, chain, handlebars and seat to ensure they are working properly.
Finding a bike helmet that fits
- A properly fitted helmet should sit level on the head and low on the forehead, about one or two finger-widths above the eyebrows.
- The side straps should form a V around the ear, with the bottom of the V just under the earlobe.
- The chin strap should be tightened snugly under the chin.
Bike safety rules
- Ride in the same direction as traffic, on the far right side of the road
- Use hand signals when making turns
- Walk your bike across the street at crosswalks
- Ride in a single-file line
- Use reflectors on your bike
- Wear bright colors so other people and drivers can see you