BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) — According to Stanford Children’s Health, there are around 250,000 bicycle injuries each year. In this Positive Parenting, we’ll learn how to help avoid those injuries in our hometown.
Springtime means getting outside on the bike. It’s great exercise and kids get a little independence from mom and dad. But bike safety is crucial. I stopped by Outdoor Recreational Equipment in Boardman, for some advice.
“The first thing we always recommend is a helmet,” said Heather Heath with Outdoor Recreational Equipment.
Helmets actually have an expiration date. The sun’s UV rays break down the material. A helmet does no good if it’s not worn correctly.
“When it’s buckled, you should be able to fit two fingers under the strap. The side straps should make a V under your ear. The best way to test fit is to grab the helmet and shake it, so it shouldn’t move more than an inch in any direction. Some movement is fine, because your head, like any other part of you, does swell with exercise,” said Heath.
If your child is getting a bike with training wheels, keep in mind the bike is supposed to wobble.
“Not only does wobbling teach the kid how to balance, but it also makes sure that if one wheel ends up on a rock, that back wheel doesn’t stop touching the ground,” said Heath.
Heath also told the common mistake she sees: “Bike’s too small. We see a lot of 8 to 10-year-olds on a 20-inch bike. That’s 4 inches too short for them.”
Knowing the rules of the road is vital to safe riding. Always ride with traffic.
“Cars are not expecting things to be coming at them,” said Heath.
If you’re riding close to dusk, a light is a good idea.
“A tail-light is more important than a headlight because a tail-light is going to warn any cars coming up behind them that there’s a bike there,” said Heath.