Each year, thousands of kids wind up in emergency rooms due to bike accidents. Children must wear a helmet every time they ride, since a head injury can impair the brain. Make sure that the helmet features a sticker stating that it adheres to Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards.
First, bike helmets should be a comfortable fit. Children should avoid wearing hats underneath. Helmets should be level and cover the forehead, not tipped back. Make sure to fasten the straps. Riders should not be at risk of having the helmet fly off their heads. The straps should be tight enough so that the helmet can’t be twisted. After a crash that affects the helmet, buy a new one. Reflective stickers on the helmet increase visibility, as do bright clothes and bike reflectors.
Bicycle seats, handlebars and wheels should be a tight fit. The chain should be oiled. Brakes should not stick; they should stop the bike immediately. Tires should have enough air and tire pressure.
Loose pants, backpack straps and long shoelaces don’t belong on bikes, since they can get caught in the chain. Children should wear sneakers, not sandals, flip-flops, or cleats. Riding barefoot is completely unacceptable. Kids should hear clearly while riding, which means avoiding wearing headphones.
Parents should establish how far their children are allowed to ride. Those under 10 must stay on the sidewalk. Bike routes free of cars are the best choice for kids. They should be ready for big hills and possible hazards, including wet leaves, puddles, uneven roads, rocks, and curbs.
Other rules include keeping one’s hands on the handlebars; looking right and left for traffic; crossing only at intersections, not between parked cars; walking bikes across heavily trafficked intersections in the crosswalk; obeying traffic signals; riding the bike on the right side of the street with the traffic, not against it; using designated bike lanes; avoiding riding too close to parked cars, since doors can suddenly open; obeying stop signs and red lights; riding with friends single file; passing others, including bikers and people, on the left, and learning bike hand signals.
While children enjoy the outdoors, recreation, and their friends’ company at playgrounds, parents should be certain that the equipment isn’t faulty, the surfaces are smooth, and that youngsters play safely. Thousands of kids are treated in hospitals as a result of playground accidents that are avoidable.
Children should be taught important playground safety rules. They should not push others or use equipment improperly. They must check that other kids are not in their way (for example on slides), wear clothes without drawstrings or cords and wear sunscreen. They should also remain at a distance from those using swings and seesaws. On climbing equipment, kids should use both hands and stay well away from others. Such equipment should not have too many children on them at the same time.
In addition, parents should make sure that playground equipment is used properly and safely. Children should only play when adults are watching. They should be able to clearly see youngsters as they play.
Adults must check that the playground surface is soft and thick in case a child falls. Children should not play on blacktop, asphalt, concrete, grass, soil, and packed earth. The surface should not have puddles, tree stumps and rocks that could cause children to fall. It should also not have metal or broken glass. Rubber mats, wood chips, and sand are safe surfaces.
Finally, equipment should be appropriate for different age groups. Areas for younger children should be apart from those for older kids. Guardrails and protective barriers should be in place where needed. Moving parts, such as swings and seesaws, must be separate from other equipment. There can be no spaces that could trap any part of a child’s body. Equipment must not be broken, cracked, splintered, or rusting.
Present children with Promos On-Time educational tools and reminders that raise safety awareness:
Personalize a wide selection of childrens's health and safety reminders and hand them out at community centers, police & fire stations or in schools.
Posted by Jeff Tone