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Keeping Your Kids Safe while Riding Bikes

A pediatrician offers some safety tips to keep in mind if your child is learning how to ride a bike

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Every year, thousands of children suffer head injuries from falling off their bikes, which is why it’s so important for them to wear a helmet. Image for illustration purposes
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CLEVELAND CLINIC – Every year, thousands of children suffer head injuries from falling off their bikes, which is why it’s so important for them to wear a helmet.

And not just any helmet, but one that fits.

“It should ride about one inch above your eyebrows, and the biggest mistake you see in the suburbs is the kids riding with it on the back of their head,” notes Richard So, MD, pediatrician for Cleveland Clinic Children’s. “That’s not going to protect your child. It should be like one inch above, and it shouldn’t rock too much, it shouldn’t feel loose, and you should wear the strap.”

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Dr. So said the sooner you can teach your child to wear a helmet, the better.

That way they’re used to wearing it as they get older.

Parents should also wear a helmet to help reinforce the message.

Some other safety tips to keep in mind are making sure your child knows the rules of the road and what areas could be dangerous, like hills.

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If they’re planning to ride at night, they should have reflective gear.

They also need to be careful with cars pulling in and out of driveways. It can be easy for a driver to miss someone on their bike.

Finally, double-check the condition of your child’s helmet.

“Helmets, they’re only made to crash once because most of them are made from collapsible foam,” said Dr. So. “If you have a helmet that was a hand-me-down or it’s been in an accident, or it’s from before 1999, you’re better off getting a new helmet.”

Dr So said all the same rules should apply for electric scooters.

Those have grown in popularity and can be even more dangerous in a crash.

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