Bike Safety.. What you need to know

The beautiful weather is here!! Bring out the bicyles. A longtime family fun activity. We are so lucky in the west island as we have hundreds of kms of beautiful bike paths to use.

On my own street the other day, I witnessed a little girl, about 7yrs old almost get hit by a car on her bike. Thankfully the driver had seen her and was stopped. Said child never saw the car until after she passed in front of it. Last year I had a close call with a child but again I was fully aware she was there and was stopped before anything happened. It only takes a second. Be aware of your surroundings and watch your speed. This brought me to write this post.

More than ever, we need to teach our children bike safety. Sadly people in cars are not always paying attention in residential areas and are not following the speed limits. It’s truly important as parents, we need to teach them the rules of the road. Most rules in place is common sense and should be used by everyone. I have provided you some great info on helmets and bike trailers below. Let’s get down to it.

Bike Helmets

There is no law for wearing a bike helmet ( although there should be), it’s important to teach your child young to wear a helmet. Sure when I was growing up we never wore one and we are all fine. Technology has evolved and the research as well in the protection of a helmet and how it can save your life.

Here are some great tips on how to get your child to wear a helmet:

  1. As soon as you buy that tricycle for your little one, get them a helmet at the same time. Start young. It will become a habit rather than a chore.
  2. Let them pick out their own helmet. They will be more interested in wearing one.
  3. Have them wear it around the house for fun to get used to the feeling.
  4. Wear one yourself. Provide a role model for your kids; they learn best by observing you.

When biking with your child, be sure to bike near them-beside or just ahead. Stay close to them. Don’t let them get a block ahead of you without some instructions. This is how accidents happen. Set boundaries and rules with your child.

Taken from the S.A.A.Q. website, here is great info on if your child can wear a bike helmet:

  • The child’s head is big enough for the helmet to be properly adjusted.
  • The child’s neck is strong enough to support the weight of the helmet:
    • Helmets are not recommended before the age of 1, since the neck, rather than the head, absorbs the force of impact, cancelling out any benefits of wearing a helmet.

For more info Click Here.

** Information taken from the SAAQ website.**

Bike Trailers

I did some research on bike safety in regards to Government rules. Do you own a bike trailer and bike around with the kids? Are you aware of the rules in place by the S.A.A.Q.? Well we have all the info for you…

The SAAQ has lots of great information on their site about bike safety. I found it especially helpful when it comes to bike trailers. Check out this great info on their site:

  • The child is at least 12 months old. Before the age of 1, neck muscles are not strong enough to support the head in the event of an accident.
  • The child can sit unassisted.
  • The child can wear a properly adjusted bike helmet.

You should always comply with the weight limit that the seat can support and make sure that it is compatible with your bike.

For safety reasons, it is strongly recommended that you choose a seat equipped with a headrest and leg protectors.

When sitting in the bike seat, children should have:

  • a helmet that is properly adjusted to their head
  • a straight back
  • shoulder support
  • their feet on the footrests
  • their head against the headrest
  • a properly adjusted harness

For more information on bike trailer safety Click Here.

*** Information taken from the SAAQ Website.***

All in all, let’s be safe!!! Teach your children while they are young and as they grow up they will put these practices in place and be safe on the road.

The S.A.A.Q has lots of great information on bike safety and the rules of the road. Head over and read all about it on their site by clicking HERE.