Riding a bike is great exercise for kids, especially those ping-pongy kids with tons of excess energy. When I set out to find information about bike safety for kids to share with you what I mostly found was boring with a capital B! As a parent you want to make sure they are safe out there. Except if all the information makes you want to scrape your eyes then you won’t listen to it. Am I right? I found some awesome video lessons on how to teach your kids to ride a bike and come back in as few pieces as possible.
Learn Bike Safety With A Jingle
Let’s start with a quick video on bike safety. The beat is catchy, it shows real kids riding real bikes, and the scenery is awesome. Remember, all of our videos are specially edited so it only shows the selected video.
* “Bike Safety Boogie” by Will Stroet
Will Stroet stresses that you first put on your helmet. He shows kids how to signal right and left with their hands. Wherever you’re riding be sure to stop, look and listen around you. I’m not sure about needing a map. My boys were never allowed to leave the neighborhood when they rode their bikes and the boundaries were clearly defined.
I would drive them around in the car and show them how far they could go each Spring. That’s because as they got older the perimeter got larger. Still, they never went very far and they weren’t ever without their cell phones.
Getting a Proper Bike Helmet Fit For Kids
When I was a kid we could ride our bikes everywhere… and I did it without a helmet. But as bikes get bigger, and faster, there are a ton more injuries. KidsHealth.org states, “Every year, about 300,000 kids go to the emergency department because of bike injuries, and at least 10,000 kids have injuries that require a few days in the hospital. Some of these injuries are so serious that children die, usually from head injuries.”
LiveStrong.com has an excellent video on how to fit a bike helmet for kids. It does take a while to get those straps just right. Pay attention to how the side straps wrap around his ears. They hit just below the ear lobe. A proper bike helmet has the adjusting lock in the back. The helmet should not wiggle around at all. The chin strap should be snug but not so tight the chin gets red or pinched.
Getting the Right Size Bike For Your Kids
Every year we bought a new bike for the boys. Yes, that gets expensive but we wanted to make sure they were getting the right size. They both grew like weeds so that constantly changed. Mind you, we had the luxury of having several Once Upon A Child stores in our city. We could sell last year’s bike and get this year’s bike all at the same place and save money!
After checking the bike out to make sure it was still solid we would take it to our local bike shop. There they would give it a “checkup” to make sure the tires were properly inflated, the screws were tight, and the handlebars were straight. How do you choose what size to get for your kid? This video from Halfords (the UK’s leading retailer of leisure and automotive products) talks about what size of bike wheel is great for what age. Did you know that bikes only come with training wheels up to 14″ wheels? You can buy training wheels separately for wheels up to 20″ wheels.
Staying Safe While Riding A Bike
It’s important to drink water to stay hydrated. Some bikes come with a water bottle cage and you just need to provide the water bottle. This water bottle comes with a clip and is a best seller on Amazon.
These tips and tricks should help get you started on a fantastic summer riding your bike. We would love to see you wearing your helmet with your bike. Post your picture on Instagram and tag us with @LJSkool. You can also share your picture with on Facebook.
Oh! If you’re absolutely convinced that you need a lesson plan, some printable worksheets, that kind of thing then the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a free and online Bicycle Safety Kit website for you. Melissa & Doug have four activities to teach summer safety that you could use to role play bike safety.