Your kids are home for summer! Alberta’s young people are taking a break from the classroom to enjoy their yards, playgrounds and one of Canada's most popular outdoor summer activities: cycling. Three-quarters of all Canadian children own a bicycle, so it’s a good time of year to review bike safety.
If you are a parent or a caregiver, one of the best things you can do to keep children safe on their bikes is to encourage safety. Remind them to wear their helmet. Ask them if they know traffic rules. Ask them where they are going.
Here are a few quick tips to help encourage bike safety with the children and youth in your lives:
- Wear a helmet. All children and youth should wear properly fitted and secure helmets. Studies show that children between the ages of 10 and 14 are the group least likely to wear a helmet, so this age group may take a bit more work.
- Be seen. Make sure that your child’s bicycle has reflective stripes or flickering lights (even during daylight hours) to make the cyclist more visible to motorists
- Stay in quiet areas. If your child is planning to ride to a friend’s house or a park, help them plan the route so that they will avoid busy streets and parking lots
- Know the rules. Ensure that every child understands and obeys traffic rules when cycling on the road. They should also know the proper hand signals to use to let motorists know when they are turning.
These simple tips will help prevent dangerous situations and injuries when your child is riding a bike. Even with all these precautions in place though, it is a good idea to have first aid training to develop the skills and confidence needed to provide emergency treatment for common cycling-related injuries like falls, scrapes or broken bones.
If you would like to be more prepared for these situations, check out our Standard First Aid course.