Teaching Children to Bike Safely

By Rob Baquera, Public Information Officer, Roseville Police Department

Spring is in the air. The sun is out, the weather is warm, and your children are anxious to dust off their bikes and go for a ride. But wait! Make sure your children know how to be safe when out on their bikes. According to kidshealth.org, 300,000 kids a year visit the emergency room for bike related injuries, and at least 10,000 kids sustain injuries that require a few days in the hospital. Unfortunately, some injuries are so severe that children even die. These injuries are usually due to head injuries.  

So before your child heads out with their bicycle, make sure he/she knows how to be safe on the road.  

Safe Riding Tips for Children

  • Wear a properly fitted bike helmet EVERY TIME YOU RIDE, even if you are going for a short ride.  Protect your brain, save your life. By law, bicycle riders under 18 years old must wear a bicycle helmet while riding on a public road (CVC §21212).

  • Ensure your bicycle is the right size and properly adjusted to fit you.
    • A properly-fitted bicycle is more comfortable and easier to control.
    • A bicycle shop can help adjust your bike to fit correctly.
  • Do a safety check on your bike before you ride.  Inflate your tires and check your brakes. (Per CVC §21201(a), it is unlawful to operate a bicycle that is not equipped with functioning brakes.)

  • See and be seen. Wear bright colors when riding and put reflectors on your bike. This will help other people on the road see you. If they see you, they are less apt to run into you.

  • Consider putting restrictions on where your kids are allowed to ride their bike and how far they’re allowed to go. Children under 10 should ride on the sidewalk. Teach them to yield to pedestrians.

  • Watch and avoid road hazards. Be on the lookout for hazards such as potholes, broken glass, gravel, etc.

  • Avoid riding at night. It is far more dangerous to ride at night than during the day. If you must ride at night, make sure you have reflectors as well as a bright light on the front.

As a parent, what else can you do to help ensure the safety of bicycle riders? Here are some tips on how to safely share the road with bicycle riders.

  • Drive cautiously. Reduce your speed when encountering cyclists. Don’t tailgate! Give the cyclist space.
  • Yield to the cyclist. Bicycles are considered vehicles so give them the appropriate right of way.
  • Be considerate. Don’t blast your horn in close proximity to cyclists. Watch for cyclists when opening your door.
  • Pass with care. Allow at least three feet between your vehicle and the bicyclist. If you are unable to pass within three feet of space, pass at a safe speed to not endanger the bicyclist.
  • Watch for children. Children on bicycles are often unpredictable. Expect the unexpected and slow down. Don’t expect children to know traffic laws. Children and also be harder to see due to their size.

Riding a bicycle is great exercise and a lot of fun. However, it can also be dangerous. Take time to teach your child the rules of the road, and how to be safe when out bike riding. It will be time well spent, and you’ll be more at ease knowing your child knows how to ride their bike safely on their own.

More Articles

20 Things to do with Kids Under $5 in the Sacramento Region

By Michelle Kopkash You don’t need a lot of money to provide a lot of love or make memories with…

Top Earth Day Celebrations in Our Region

By Michelle Kopkash Earth Day is a special occasion to teach our children about leaving the world a better place.…

A Museum Without Walls…Memorable Experiences Await Inside & Outside the Railroad Museum

A Smithsonian Affiliate located in Old Sacramento State Historic Park, the California State Railroad Museum is a must-visit destination perfect…

Greater Sacramento’s Best Hoppin’ Celebrations & Egg Hunts

Enjoy this Easter-themed round-up that will have the whole family egg-cited to celebrate the season. *Sometimes plans change, so please…

JugHead!

By Donna Sangwin, Founder and Executive Director of ReCreate This year to celebrate Earth Day we challenge you to create…

Is Your Car Seat Keeping Your Child Safe?

By Rob Baquera, Public Information Officer, Roseville Police Department With over 24 million vehicles and more than 170,000 miles of…

Spring Break Travel Tips for Your Feet and Legs  

How to get the mind-clearing, calorie-burning benefits of movement even while sitting for hours on the plane or in the…

The Weekend Scoop: Family-Friendly Activities Around Sacramento

Below is a round-up of family-friendly events and activities for the weekend of March 22-24. Enjoy! Friday, March 22 Baby Lapsit…

Sacramento’s Magnificent Vernal Pool Tours

By Michelle Kopkash The seasonal vernal pools in Northern California display the magnificence of nature at its finest. Most years,…

Teaching Children to Bike Safely

By Rob Baquera, Public Information Officer, Roseville Police Department

Spring is in the air. The sun is out, the weather is warm, and your children are anxious to dust off their bikes and go for a ride. But wait! Make sure your children know how to be safe when out on their bikes. According to kidshealth.org, 300,000 kids a year visit the emergency room for bike related injuries, and at least 10,000 kids sustain injuries that require a few days in the hospital. Unfortunately, some injuries are so severe that children even die. These injuries are usually due to head injuries.  

So before your child heads out with their bicycle, make sure he/she knows how to be safe on the road.  

Safe Riding Tips for Children

  • Wear a properly fitted bike helmet EVERY TIME YOU RIDE, even if you are going for a short ride.  Protect your brain, save your life. By law, bicycle riders under 18 years old must wear a bicycle helmet while riding on a public road (CVC §21212).

  • Ensure your bicycle is the right size and properly adjusted to fit you.
    • A properly-fitted bicycle is more comfortable and easier to control.
    • A bicycle shop can help adjust your bike to fit correctly.
  • Do a safety check on your bike before you ride.  Inflate your tires and check your brakes. (Per CVC §21201(a), it is unlawful to operate a bicycle that is not equipped with functioning brakes.)

  • See and be seen. Wear bright colors when riding and put reflectors on your bike. This will help other people on the road see you. If they see you, they are less apt to run into you.

  • Consider putting restrictions on where your kids are allowed to ride their bike and how far they’re allowed to go. Children under 10 should ride on the sidewalk. Teach them to yield to pedestrians.

  • Watch and avoid road hazards. Be on the lookout for hazards such as potholes, broken glass, gravel, etc.

  • Avoid riding at night. It is far more dangerous to ride at night than during the day. If you must ride at night, make sure you have reflectors as well as a bright light on the front.

As a parent, what else can you do to help ensure the safety of bicycle riders? Here are some tips on how to safely share the road with bicycle riders.

  • Drive cautiously. Reduce your speed when encountering cyclists. Don’t tailgate! Give the cyclist space.
  • Yield to the cyclist. Bicycles are considered vehicles so give them the appropriate right of way.
  • Be considerate. Don’t blast your horn in close proximity to cyclists. Watch for cyclists when opening your door.
  • Pass with care. Allow at least three feet between your vehicle and the bicyclist. If you are unable to pass within three feet of space, pass at a safe speed to not endanger the bicyclist.
  • Watch for children. Children on bicycles are often unpredictable. Expect the unexpected and slow down. Don’t expect children to know traffic laws. Children and also be harder to see due to their size.

Riding a bicycle is great exercise and a lot of fun. However, it can also be dangerous. Take time to teach your child the rules of the road, and how to be safe when out bike riding. It will be time well spent, and you’ll be more at ease knowing your child knows how to ride their bike safely on their own.

More Articles

Teaching Kindness

A Touch of Understanding brings lessons in tolerance to local…

Summer Learning Arts Activities

1. Create a living room theater: Have your child act…

Child Support 101

Most folks think they need to hire an attorney to…

Prepare Your Kids to Ditch the Devices at Summer Camp

Apps like Pokémon Go created a nightmare for camp directors…

Seize the Day for Fun and Play– Preschooler Style

While you are chasing your toddler around the store or…

How to Help Your ADHD Child Get Organized: 5 Tips You Can Start Using Today

YOU KNOW IT. The never-ending battle of your son’s messy…

Mud—A Prescription for Healthy Kids

Kids love mud—it’s just a fact. Whether it’s the batter…

Subscribe to the Parent Newsletter

Our latest articles, resources and tips—direct to your inbox.

Follow Sacramento Parent