With a lot of downtime due the current COVID situation, there has been an overall increase in bike riding. With this increase in kids out riding, there are always increases in bicycle related injuries that we see in the clinic. We have included a few, easy to follow, tips that can help your kiddos avoid potential inury:
Helmet: Wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet
An estimated 75% of bicycle-related fatalities among children could be prevented with the use of a helmet.
Protect your brain, save your life.
Find a helmet that fits and let the child pick a helmet that they would want to wear.
Equipment: Check your bike and equipment before riding
Be sure the tires are properly inflated.
Check your brakes to ensure proper stopping.
Do not carry items on your bike that may make riding hazardous. Carrying books, bags, balls and other items may impair the way you ride.
Clothing and Shoes: Be visible and protect feet/toes
Wear bright clothes and use reflective tape as needed.
Do not wear clothing that is baggy, long or flows. These types of clothing can get caught in the spokes, gears or spokes.
Wear closed toed shoes to prevent a foot injury from chain, spokes and crank. Always lace up your shoes before riding. Remember – NO Flip Flops.
Watch for Cars and Hazards: Always be on the lookout
Just because you see the car does not mean the driver can see you. Try to make eye contact with the driver of the car to ensure that they can see you too.
Be on the lookout for hazards such as potholes, gravel, dogs, sand, rocks, etc.
When and Where to Ride: Ride in the daylight and away from cars
Avoid riding in the dusk or dawn. Make sure there is adequate lighting so that you can see and can be seen by others.
For elementary aged children it is safer for them to ride on the sidewalk
For riding on the sidewalk:
Watch for vehicles coming in and out of driveways
Stop at corners and use crosswalks were available
Look both ways before crossing the street
Alert pedestrians when you are passing by saying “Excuse me,” or “Passing on your left,” or use a bell
Hopefully these tips can help keep your kids healthy and safe through the remainder of the summer and into the fall (no pun intended). Even though we try our best to prevent injuries, accidents can, and do, happen. In the event of an accident where there is an orthopedic injury that occurs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office and we’d be happy to help get your kiddo on the mend.
Resources from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): www.nhtsa.dot.gov