Cycling is the ideal way to get exercise in day-to-day life: it keeps you fit, gets adults and children out into the fresh air and also helps to protect our climate. But before you take to the saddle, you should check that the bicycle is fit for the road. This is because bikes are often left uncared for in cellars or sheds over the winter months. So a safety check-up is essential before you or your children set off.
Child, bicycle, road safety
When is a bicycle fit for the road? What components of a bicycle are important? These might be the first questions you ask your children in order to make them aware of safety when cycling. If you make them aware at an early stage, they will learn to take responsibility for the safety of their bike, other people and themselves.
Children learn more easily if they can see and touch something. Use this knowledge when giving the bicycle a safety check. Let the kids play an active role during the check-up: Where are the lights? Do the brakes work? By the end of this introduction, the young cyclists should know which individual components of the bike contribute to safety and visibility.
The safety helmet – set an example
To keep safe in traffic, you need a bicycle that is fit for the road, and a safety helmet. The latter is often left at home and thought unnecessary. In fact head protection is very important indeed: studies have shown that 80 percent of serious head injuries to cyclists are avoidable if a helmet is worn. Children should therefore be shown the importance of a helmet at an early stage.
This is where you can play your part: be active and act as an example by wearing a cycling helmet. Show your kids what road safety is all about.
Children can also learn about bicycle safety when away from the road, or without the bike even being in sight. Our monthly campaign for April is here to help them. With this "Drag-and-Drop" game, kids will learn which components of a bicycle are necessary for safety by placing them in their correct position.
Time to check the bike
Your child has now learned to position the components of a roadworthy bicycle correctly. It's time for the next stage: checking their own bicycle. The checklist below makes this initial inspection really easy.