Learning to ride a bike is sure to be one of your child’s proudest moments and will live long in their memory. Naturally, though, any parent will be slightly anxious and nervous about letting their kids loose on two wheels.

So to avoid any potential incidents or accidents, you must teach your offspring about the importance of cycle safety. Along with wearing the right equipment and taking the necessary precautions, this also includes understanding road rules and the dangers of traffic.

Steps to ensure cycling safety

Research cycle training — Ask your child’s school or the local authorities whether there are any courses in cycle training nearby. You should do this before your youngster cycles on the road.

Check the bike’s roadworthiness — Faults or problems with the bike itself can be dangerous, so check the brakes, tyres, lights and reflectors.

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Be sure the bike is suitable — Kids bikes come in a range of shapes and sizes, so be sure it fits your child.

Locate cycle paths and lanes — Find out where there are quiet cycle paths in your area and ensure your child is comfortable with these before riding on a busy road.

Wear the right clothing — Always wear a helmet, but make sure it fits, is worn correctly and not pushed too far back on the head. High visibility clothing is also a good idea.

Talk about cycling while driving — When you’re out and about in the car with the family, try to teach your child about things like roundabouts and pedestrian crossings. Point out cyclists and comment on things that they’re doing right or wrong.

Teaching your child how to ride

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Start in a safe environment —Kids should first learn to ride a bike in an obstacle-free environment such as a local park. After that they can move onto the pavement and then the road.

Understand the basics — This includes using arm signals, looking behind before turning, overtaking and stopping, obeying all traffic lights and road signs, watching out for car doors opening suddenly and not listening to music while cycling.

Away from the road — If you’re still concerned about the dangers of the road, there are possibilities to cycle in other places. For instance, BMX bikes can be ridden at skate parks while mountain bikes are perfect for rides through the forest.

First and foremost, be certain that your child’s bike is fit for purpose and the right clothing is being worn. Then, you can teach your kids about riding on the road or take them to safer environments for added peace of mind.

Image by ubrayj02, used under Creative Commons licence