Tips To Keep Kids Safe While Riding Bikes This Summer

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bicycle riding is a favorite pastime of children. More than 28 million children ages five to 14 ride bicycles. Unfortunately, bicycles are associated with more childhood injuries than any other consumer product except the automobile.

“As children start their summers, it's important for parents and children to go over safety tips for riding their bikes," says Susan Laurence, injury prevention coordinator, Trauma Services at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. "This will help ensure a safe, enjoyable summer for everyone.”

Each year more than 500,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for bicycle-related injuries. In 2008 there were 716 bicycle deaths.

Laurence and the American Academy of Pediatrics offer these safety tips for parents of children riding bicycles this summer.

  • Your child needs to wear a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how close to home.
  • When purchasing a helmet, look for a label or sticker that says the helmet meets the CPSC safety standard.
  • A helmet protects your child from serious brain injury, and should always be worn.
  • A helmet should be worn so that it is level on the head, about two fingers above the eyebrows, not tipped forward or backward. The strap should be securely fastened, and you should not be able to move the helmet in any direction.
  • Teach children to follow the rules of the road.
  • Children should ride on the same side of the road and in the same direction as vehicles travel.
  • Children should walk their bicycles across busy streets or roads.
  • Do not allow children to ride on the road without direct adult supervision until age 10.
  • Plan a safe cycling route with children and ride it with them.
  • Do not let children ride at night.
  • Do not push your child to ride a 2-wheeled bike until he or she is ready, at about age 5 or 6.
  • Take your child with you when you shop for the bike, so that he or she can try it out. For more information on finding the proper fit, go to http://www.aap.org/family/bicycle.htm#choosing
  • Buy a bike that is the right size, not one your child has to "grow into."

About Cincinnati Children's

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is one of just eight children’s hospitals named to the Honor Roll in U.S. News and World Report’s 2010-11 Best Children’s Hospitals. It is ranked #1 for digestive disorders and highly ranked for its expertise in pulmonology, cancer, neonatology, heart and heart surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, diabetes and endocrinology, orthopedics, kidney disorders and urology. Cincinnati Children’s is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. It is internationally recognized for quality and transformation work by Leapfrog, The Joint Commission, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and by hospitals and health organizations it works with globally. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org

Contact Information

Danielle Lewis, 513-636-9473, danielle.lewis1@cchmc.org