All bikers should wear helmets on all bike rides. Even if the bike ride is just down the driveway, your child should wear a helmet. Be consistent. Don't allow your child to ride without a helmet.
Facts Every Parent Should Know About Bike Injuries
Bicycles are associated with more childhood injuries than any other consumer product expect motor vehicles.
Bicycles + motor vehicles = bad outcomes. Motor vehicles are involved in 90 percent of all bicycle-related deaths and 10 percent of all nonfatal bicycle-related injuries.
"Rules of the road" are not optional. In more than 80 percent of bicycle-related deaths, the cyclist did not follow the "rules of the road" or used poor judgement-for example, riding into the street without stopping, running a stop sign or riding after dark.
Head injuries are serious. Head injuries are the leading cause of bicycle-related deaths and the most important determinant of permanent disability.
Helmets make a real difference. Correctly-fitted and properly-positioned bicycle helmets reduce the risk of fatal head injury by 75 percent and reduce the risk of brain injury by 85 percent.
Restrict your child's biking to sidewalks or bike paths until the age of 10 or until you feel your child is showing the skill and judgement needed to be safe in traffic.
To protect your child from injuries; be sure your child:
Wears a bicycle helmet that meets the safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC sticker can be found on the inner liner of the helmet. Check with your local police department to find the age limits for children riding on the sidewalk.
Has a helmet that fits snugly, covers the top part of the forehead and does not slide.
Has a bike that is the right size, in good repair, and is equipped with a working light or front reflector, rear reflector and horn.
Knows and uses hand signals for turning left and right, slowing down and stopping.
Rides on the right side of the road-with traffic.
Obeys traffic signs and signals, and knows to stop and look left-and-right before entering an intersection or street, whether or not there is a stop sign.
Wears brightly colored clothing, has shoelaces securely tied, and advoids clothing that could get caught in bike wheels.
Does not right at night or in bad weather.
Never bikes while wearing headphones or earphones.
Never rides double.
Always has at least one hand on the handlebars.
Bicycle helmets need to be replaced after sever impact such as a fall on the pavement.
Bicycle Safety for Children with Special Health Care Needs
Every child should have the chance to enjoy bicycling and to earn how to do so safely. If your child is not able to use a conventional bike, the Community Education and Child Advocacy Department at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health can provide you with information about adapted bikes and the Pedal Power program-a resource for parents, health care and rehabilitation professionals.