Bike and Wheeled Sports Safety Bikes cause more childhood injuries than any other consumer product except cars. • Always wear a helmet on every ride. • Buy a bike that fits right. Check it often to make sure it’s safe. • Make sure drivers can see you. • Learn and follow the rules of the road. For more information, contact: Donna Kalanick, RN Injury Prevention Coordinator Trauma Services (208) 625-5722 Kootenai Health 2003 Kootenai Health Way Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814 www.safekids.org In partnership with: Wear a Helmet, Every Ride Ways to Get Your Child to Wear a Helmet, Every Ride Get a helmet. Today, helmets cost less and are more comfortable. When worn, bicycle helmets cut the risk of severe brain damage by up to 88%. Make it a habit from the first time your child rides a tricyle, bike or roller skates. Be sure he or she wears a helmet every time. Children should always wear a helmet for all wheeled sports activities. Enforce the simple rule: “No helmet, No bike.” (or skateboard, or roller skates, or scooter.) • A bike helmet that fits well should be worn when roller skating, inline skating or riding a scooter. Explain that riding on wheels can be fun but dangerous, too and wearing a helmet can keep him from badly hurting his head. Let your child pick out the helmet so he or she is more likely to wear it. • For skateboarding and longboarding, a skateboarding helmet is best. Wear one yourself. Remember: a child is more likely to wear her helmet when you do too! Before the Ride Buy a bicycle that is the right size for your child — not one he or she will “grow into.” Bring him along to the bike shop for the right fit. Place reflectors on the front, back and sides of the bike, skates or scooter. Check often to be sure that: • reflectors are secure • brakes work well • gears shift smoothly • tires are on tight and properly inflated. Consider clothes with reflective materials to help drivers spot kids on wheels. Take the helmet fit test: Eyes: Put the helmet on your head. Look up. You should see the bottom rim of the helmet. Ears: Make sure the straps form a ‘V’ under your ears when buckled. The straps should be a little tight but comfortable. Mouth: Open your mouth as wide as you can. Does the helmet hug your head? If not, tighten the straps. Reminders for Adults, Lessons to Teach Children Always follow the safety rules and traffic laws. Use hand signals when turning. Ride right: Bikes travel with traffic, not against it. Ride on the righthand side of the road. Before you cross a street: • Bicycling on the street can be safe for older children, especially where there are bike lanes. • Children who are 10 years or older, and mature and skilled enough to make safe decisions, should be taught how to ride in bike lanes. Children should only ride or skate in good weather and during the day. They should stay on sidewalks and paths – not roads – until age 10. • use a crosswalk if you can • stop and look: LEFT, RIGHT, and LEFT AGAIN • if a car or truck is coming, wait until they are gone before you start to cross. Watch for uneven surfaces while riding or skating (potholes, cracks, rocks, railroad tracks, storm grates).
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