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Ideas for Safe Bicycle Riding

Close to 200,000 people in the U.S. are injured while riding a bycycle each year. In fact, each year in the U.S. around 140 kids are killed riding bicycles. Most of these injuries and deaths could be avoided if safe bicycling habits are practiced. If you have kids that are riding, they should be know how to keep themselves as safe as possible. So what are some safe practices and habits?

1) Always wear a helmet! Even when riding for short distances - it just isn't worth the risk of a head injury.

2) Pay attention to and follow traffic signals. Both car drivers and bicyclists should obey traffic signals to make the roads safe for everyone.

3) Use hand signals to let other riders and drivers know when you are turning.

4) Always ride on the right side of the road, along with the car traffic.

5) Don't let you child ride their bicycle at night - even with reflectors and reflective vests it just isn't safe enough.

6) Make sure you kids have a bicycle that is the right size for them. One that is too big isn't a good idea even if they will grow into it. They should be able to sit on the seat and have both of their feet touch the ground. This is true for adults too - not all adults are the same size.

7)Make sure you buy a new helmet that meets the safety standards developed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

8) Some hospitals will check if your child's helmet fits properly - check you local hospitals and see if they offer this service.

9) In hot weather make sure you bring something with you to drink so you don't get dehydrated.

10) Make sure you and your child know how to wear their helmets properly.

11) Start your child with right with having them wear a helmit while riding their tricycle. Let them pick out one they like, with Dora or Spongebob or some other character or design.

12) As a parent, set a good example and follow recommended safety practices also.

For more information:

Basic safety tips for kids from

Bicycling and Skating Safety Fact Sheet - lots of statistics about injuries related to riding bicycles.

How to Not Get Hit by Cars - detailed information about various situations that a bicyclists could be hit by a car in - and how to protect yourself.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) - Kids and Bicycle Riding

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