While the summer of 2020 is without many of the activities that your children are used to including camps, sports and vacations, there are still things they can do to go outside for fresh air and exercise! One of the most popular activities children can participate in while maintaining social distancing is bike riding. Making sure your child is taking necessary safety precautions and performing checks on their bike as well as safety equipment can prevent accidents and injuries. 

How to Check a Helmet

A helmet should be worn every time your child takes their bicycle out for a ride. The helmet should fit the head snugly, with no room for a hat to be worn underneath or looseness to tip from side to side or front to back. The forehead should be covered by the helmet. If your child is bothered by the sun in their eyes, look into a helmet with a built-in visor to offer more protection from the bright rays. Straps should be able to click into place without pinching the skin but without slack. The helmet should come with a label certifying that it meets the standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If reflective patches are not included on each side of the helmet, take some time to add tape or stickers to increase visibility to drivers or when riding at dusk. You should frequently check for cracks and signs of wear, which can mean it is time for a replacement. 

Is the bike the right size for your child?

As your child continues to grow, they may need a new bike to accommodate their new height. In order to determine if your child still fits their bike, have them stand with one leg on either side of the bicycle with their feet flat on the ground. There should be between one and three inches of space between where your child stands and the top bar. If they have to stand on their toes or crouch to comfortably fit the seat, you should bring them to a local bike shop or sporting goods store to be fitted for a new bike they will be able to ride comfortably and safely. 

Checking the bike before a ride

There are several factors that should be checked before your child brings their bike out for a ride. While some should be performed by an adult, you can teach your child how to perform some in order to teach them more responsibility when operating the bicycle. Before your child goes for a ride:

  • Make sure they are not wearing loose clothing or have anything, including shoelaces and backpack straps, that can get caught in the chain and cause them to lose control.
  • Check that they are wearing sneakers for better grip on the pedals.
  • Make sure the handlebars and seat are tight and secure.
  • The tires should have sufficient air and tread to keep your child in control and safe while riding.
  • Check the brakes and chain for resistance and apply oil if necessary.

Injury Treatment in Norwalk, CT

If your child is injured while riding their bicycle, visit AFC Urgent Care Norwalk today. Our center is open seven days a week and provides treatment including x-rays for many of the non-life-threatening injuries you would pay more for at the emergency room. Walk-in patients are welcome and most major health insurances are accepted. Visit us at AfcUrgentCareNorwalk.com or call 203-845-9100 for more information.