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Archive for the ‘bike riding’ tag

June 23rd, 2014 at 10:50 am

Bike Safety for Kids

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Just this weekend while my son was riding his bike, he wiped out and got some bad scrapes on his elbow. Of course, I found this out after I cleaned off the mud from the huge puddle he fell into. My first tip is for parents (one I need to follow myself) – ALWAYS make sure your first aid supplies are stocked and on hand. You can never have enough bandaids (in every size), antibiotic cream or antibacterial/alcohol wipes. It’s summer and kids (especially boys) are prone to injuries, so be ready!

Accidents happen, but there are safety measures that can be taken to help prevent or lessen the degree of injuries. One of the most important areas to protect is your child’s head. Helmets provide protection for your face, head, and brain…I don’t think I need to mention why this is crucial!

Make sure your child’s bike is the right size for them. All too often, children ride bikes that are too big or too small for them, which increases the likelihood of accidents. If your child stands straddling the bike, there should be 1-3 inches of space between them and the top bar. If not, its time to move up to the next bike size.

Make sure wheels, handlebars and seats are tightly fastened to the bike. Add air to the tires if they need more. Check the chain and oil it regularly. Also check that the brakes are working correctly.

If your child is riding with you on the street or sidewalk, make sure they have bright clothing on, even in daylight. Also make sure shoes are tied and clothing isn’t too loose that it would get caught on anything. Sneakers are the best to wear when bike riding because the treads grip the pedals.

Define what area around your neighborhood is appropriate for your child to ride. This can change as your child gets older. Go over safety rules and make sure your child checks for cars backing out of driveways, and is mindful of road signs. Also teach them about obstacles like sticks, puddles, rocks, and other children! Discourage them from doing “tricks” with their bikes like jumping obstacles, bumping friends’ tires with their own, or racing down steep hills.

With these guidelines, children can be a little safer on their bicycles!

 

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May 16th, 2013 at 10:00 am

Teaching Your Child How to Ride a Bike

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This week, per my calendar of wacky holidays, is Bike to Work Week.  While I live a little bit too far away from my job to pedal there and back, I do love to ride my bike in my spare time.  Not only do I get great exercise from it, it also gives me that “me” time that everybody needs now and then.  I’ll always remember when my dad was trying to teach me to balance on just two wheels instead of four.  There was this huge sense of accomplishment when I could finally balance on my own – and not just for me.  When the time comes for your child to lose the training wheels, I highly recommend Jim’s method of teaching them to ride a bicycle:

  • Safety first!  Make sure your child wears a helmet at ALL times while riding a bike.  This is non-negotiable.  Elbow and knee pads are optional, but recommended.  Make sure clothing does not hang so that it can become entangled in the bike.
  • Hold on tight!  The first time getting on a two-wheeler is scary, so help your child get onto the bike safely and make sure their feet can touch the ground while they are seated.  As he or she pedals the bike, push gently on the seat behind them.  Go slowly at first, then gradually increase speed until the bike could stay upright on its own.  But keep holding on until your child has gotten lots of practice.
  • Eventually, you have to let go.  These are words that most parents don’t want to hear, but in this case, it’s necessary!  Once you feel your child is ready, let go of the bike, but just for a moment or two.  When you take hold of the bike again, let them know that you let go for just a little bit.  This will boost their confidence.  Keep letting go for longer periods of time until they can finally ride on their own.
  • Be encouraging.  Your child will fall, and it may happen once or one hundred times before they can stay balanced.  But it’s your job to encourage them to stick with it when they get frustrated.  This is not just because riding a bike is “good” for them or that it’s fun, but because it’s important not to give up when things get tough.

As it is said, once they learn how to ride a bike, they will never forget.  And when they’re all grown up, they may never forget the day they finally learned how.  Happy Riding!

Photo Credit: Today.com

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