Season for safety

Whether you wore a helmet while riding your bike as a child, it’s a must for kids these days. Nearly 300,000 kids make a visit to the emergency room every year with bike-related injuries, some resulting in death or severe brain injury. Wearing a helmet can help reduce your child’s risk of making such a visit. The Consumer Product Safety Commission sets standards for helmets, so be sure to choose one with its safety seal on it.

Keeping kids safe on their bikes also means sending them out on bikes that fit. Checking that your child hasn’t outgrown last year’s ride is easy, according to CPSC: Have your child straddle the top bar of his or her bike with both feet flat on the ground. A 1- to 3-inch gap between the bar and your child’s body means it’s still the correct size.

Another key to child safety is familiarizing children with the rules of the road. We continue to see kids riding on the left side of street, facing traffic. Many disregard stop and yield signs at intersections, or buzz through open, but visually obstructed, residential intersections without slowing and checking both ways.

Summer is a fun time of year for children—of all ages, for that matter. We adults, particularly parents, need to give them the instruction they need to make it the best and safest summer ever. —DR