BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – According to Stanford Children’s Health, there are approximately 250,000 bicycle injuries each year. In this positive parenting, we will learn how to help avoid these injuries in our hometown.
Spring means going out on a bike. It’s great exercise and kids become a bit independent of mom and dad. But bike safety is crucial. I stopped by Outdoor Recreational Equipment in Boardman, for some tips.
“The first thing we always recommend is a helmet,” said Heather Heath of Outdoor Recreational Equipment.
Helmets actually have an expiration date. The sun’s UV rays break down the material. A helmet is useless if not worn correctly.
“When it’s buckled, you should be able to fit two fingers under the strap. The side straps should form a V under your ear. The best way to test the fit is to grab the helmet and shake it, so it shouldn’t move more than an inch in any direction. Some movements are okay because your head, like any other part of you, swells with exercise,” Heath said.
If your child gets a bike with training wheels, keep in mind that the bike is meant to wobble.
“Not only does the wobble teach the child to balance, it also ensures that if one wheel ends up on a rock, that rear wheel just keeps hitting the ground,” Heath said.
Heath also shared the common mistake she sees: “The bike is too small. You see a lot of 8 to 10 year olds on a 20 inch bike. It’s 4 inches too short for them.
Knowing the rules of the road is essential to riding safely. Always ride with traffic.
“Cars don’t expect things to happen to them,” Heath said.
If you are riding near dusk, a light is a good idea.
“A taillight is more important than a headlight because a taillight is going to warn any cars coming up behind them that there’s a bike out there,” Heath said.