Many parents get very excited about giving their kids a first bicycle without giving a second thought to safety. But once you take the training wheels off of your child’s first bike, anything can go for a kid.
Messaging from you to your child on bike riding safety can go in one ear and out the other, so it’s important to slowly but surely teach safety to your bike riding kids and to do check-ins periodically to make sure that what you teach sticks. But where to start?
First and foremost for kids on two wheels: helmets. For all of the statistics out there on head injuries and traumatic brain injury, if you pick up anything here, it’s that wearing a helmet dramatically reduces the incident of hospitalization after a fall or crash. Don’t take a cavalier attitude toward riding bikes without helmets, regardless of the fact that Ohio has no helmet law.
Secondly, to teach your kids to ride safely on a bike, ride with them at first on your own bike. And know a couple of things about Ohio bicycle laws. Such as:
Q: Can My Child Ride a Bicycle in the Street?
Yes. Ohio law does not include an age requirement for riding bikes on a roadway, however riders of all ages must follow the rules of the road. Make sure your child can ride safely and predictably by evaluating his abilities.
Q: What road rules do kids have to follow when they are biking?
One key Ohio bike law is that bicyclists must ride “as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable,” yet, a rider does not have to ride along the right side of a lane when it is unsafe to do so.
SAFETY TIPS FOR KIDS
• Wear a helmet that fits properly. (Get a helmet fitting PDF at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website)
• Adjust your child’s bike to fit his height and make sure the bike is safe to ride
• See and be seen: wear bright clothing when you ride, watch for cars, etc.
• Use verbal and non-verbal communication with motorists through eye contact and signals found at NHTSA.