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Balance Bike Safety

Balance bike and kids bike safety should be the highest priority of parents and guardians of children of any age and size.  Bike safety implemented at a young age gives your child a foundation for safe biking habits that they will use for years. Balance bike and bike safety can be broken down into three main categories; Safety Protection Devices, Bike Upkeep and Maintenance and Biking Skills.  Here are the three main safety categories in further detail.

Safety Protection Devices

Safety protection devices include mandatory and non-mandatory clothing and equipment to make biking safe and enjoyable for young children.  The first mandatory item for safe biking is a helmet.  Your brain is the most important part of your body. An accident that causes damage to the brain can cause multiple issues that can affect every part of your body and even death.  We suggest you visit our page on Kids Bike Helmet Sizing to learn more about how to measure your child’s head and select the correct type of helmet.  The second mandatory item for safe biking is footwear.  The best way to protect your feet while biking is to either wear shoes or covered toe sandals.  We prefer shoes as they fit securely and protect all the skin on your feet.  While most balance bikes have brakes for stopping, there are plenty of balance bikes where your feet are used for stopping.  Bare feet used for stopping can cause cuts, scrapes, bruises, sprains and even broken bones.  When biking at night or near dusk, it is also best for a child to wear reflective clothing or vest.  Bright clothing or reflective vests will make your child stand out and noticeable to drivers so they move farther away from cyclists when passing on a road.  Other optional safety devices that can be used depending on child’s skill level are kneepads and elbow pads.  Although they may be bulky, they save some painful abrasions when worn. Parents can use their judgement on whether these added pads would be useful.

Bike Upkeep, Maintenance and Accessories

Bikes are only safe when they are in proper running condition.  This means making sure the tires are properly inflated, brakes are adjusted to minimize stopping distance, seat adjusted to proper height, good handgrips and moving parts are properly lubricated.  Tires should be inflated to the recommended pressure shown on the tires. Having the seat adjusted to the correct height so the child can be sitting on the seat and still be able to set their feet on the ground.  Visit our balance bike sizing chart to make sure the bike your purchase fits properly. Other accessories for balance bikes that will improve safety are front and rear reflectors and steering delimiters.  Bike maintenance is as easy as teaching your children to perform a pre-ride checklist prior to going out for a ride.  A pre ride checklist can contain: check tire pressure, make sure seat is proper height, make sure handle bars are tightly aligned and making sure brakes operate properly.

Bike Skills and rules of the Road.

Teaching your child proper bike riding skills and the rules of the road is a lifelong lesson.  One of the first things I taught my child was what side of the road to travel on when on a public road.  All bikes should travel with the direction of traffic off the right edge of the travel lane.  This is in contrast to walkers who will walk against the direction traffic.  Bikes also need to observe all traffic signs when on the road; this means stopping for stops signs and following traffic signals.  Once the rules of the road are taught, children in addition to being taught in most schools should be taught hand turn signals.  The infographic below shows the main turning signals.