Keeping Kids Safe Outside This Summer

Summer is a time when kids typically have the chance to get outside and play more than any other time of year. Unfortunately, it’s also a time that tends to be associated with a lot of accidents involving kids. One of the main activities that kids enjoy during the summer is riding bicycles. The question is, what can you do as a parent to keep your children safe while they are riding?

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to be proactive, including insisting that they wear a helmet and choosing the right bicycle for each child. Both of these things will be discussed in greater detail in the following paragraphs, along with a few other important safety tips.

Wearing a Proper Bicycle Helmet Is a Must

Some people are good about wearing a helmet every time they get on a bicycle, and others tend to think of it as an optional piece of equipment. That’s especially true of the parents who never even heard of such a thing when they were the same age as their kids are now, riding bicycles all over the neighborhood. However, it’s important to stop and think about this for a moment. Chances are, you never put your child in the car without first making sure to buckle them into their seats correctly. If that’s the case, why would you take unnecessary chances when your child is riding a bicycle? A proper helmet can make all the difference in the world between your child being severely injured or even killed in a bicycle accident as opposed to receiving only a few cuts and scrapes. That’s because it does an excellent job of protecting your child from a potentially life-threatening head injury if the head strikes the pavement or another hard surface during a bicycle crash.

Does the Size of the Bike Also Matter?

In short, it matters almost as much as wearing a helmet. A small child cannot safely navigate a large bicycle. A child who is getting older and rapidly growing can’t safely ride a bike that was the correct size two years ago. They won’t have the control they would otherwise have. If the bike isn’t large enough, their legs may hit the handlebars as they peddle. This alone can cause them to crash. Also, riding a bike that’s too small throws off the balance-to-weight ratio for the bicycle itself, making it far more likely that a severe crash will eventually occur. That’s precisely why it might be time to upgrade to a 24 inch bike or bigger.

Kids and Cell Phones

You want your child to have a cell phone, so he or she can have a way to contact you if the need arises. You want to be able to get in touch with your child whenever you need to. The problem is that kids sometimes tend to get distracted by their cell phones while riding their bicycles. As you can imagine, it’s incredibly unsafe to ride a bike while staring at their screen. As such, it’s always a good safety measure to have a thorough conversation with your child about safe cell phone use, ensuring that they always pay attention while riding a bicycle.

Other Potential Safety Concerns

When you’re a parent, it seems like the list of safety concerns is virtually endless. You worry about your child riding too far away from home, being abducted by a stranger, getting hit by a car, or even staying out in the sun too long without drinking enough water. The truth is, you have a right to be concerned. The world we live in today is full of challenges, and it’s hard to strike a balance between allowing your child to grow to become self-sufficient and protecting that child from potential harm. Your best course of action is to keep an open line of communication with your children. Let them know your concerns and how they should handle stranger danger and other safety concerns. Empowering them is one of the best ways to alleviate any concerns they might have, as well as your own.

If you follow these tips, your child can enjoy riding a bicycle more safely. It probably won’t eliminate your worries in their entirety, but it will allow both you and your children to look at things from an objective point of view. Most importantly, it gives you a chance to allow your child to rely on their skills and abilities without carelessly putting them in harm’s way.

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