Bike to School Safely
7 tips to teach kids to ride their bikes to school safely
(page 1 of 2)
At many schools, fewer hours are allotted to recess and physical education each year, but access to fresh air and exercise doesn’t have to end when summer does. Bicycling to school is a fun, fitness-friendly mode of transportation that, with a little planning and attention to detail, could replace your returning walker’s current commute. Make sure your district rules allow kids in your neighborhood to wheel to school, then read on to get your child rolling safely along.
1. Assess skills and judgment.
Research by Safe Kids Worldwide indicates that children younger than 10 have difficulty judging the speed and distance of traffic. Coordination and strong bike-handling skills are not a substitute for the quick decision-making ability needed to ride on the road, so very young cyclists should always be accompanied by an adult.
2. Discuss the route’s terrain and traffic patterns.
Before your child’s first solo trek, bike the route together with the main objective of pointing out details and identifying traffic signs and any potential hazards along the way. This is especially important for a child who has always ridden behind an adult and may not yet be confident in relying on his own judgment for road navigation. Teach him to make eye contact with drivers, particularly at intersections, to increase the likelihood that traffic will be stopped before he attempts to cross the street.
3. Require that she wear a properly fitting helmet.
Helmet use is the single most effective way to reduce bicycle-related fatalities. Here’s how to properly fit the headgear.