A lot of kids are heading back to school soon. Many of them kids walk or ride their bike to school every single day. We wanted to pass along some important information from the American Academy of Pediatrics on how to keep your kids safe from injuries on the streets. Did you know that injuries are the greatest threat to the life and health of your child? Injuries are the leading cause of death of school-aged children. Yet you can prevent most major injuries!
When your child starts attending school, he/she will become more independent. Your child will try to prove that he or she is grown up. But children under 10 usually aren’t good at judging sound, distance, or the speed of a moving car. Your child can learn a few simple things to do for protection, but you must still be in charge of his or her safety.
Protect your child from bad head injuries or even death by following these rules:
- Make sure your child wears a properly fitted, approved helmet every time she rides a bike. Always make sure the helmet is specifically made to protect the head from any fall that may occur while biking. Football helmets or other type of helmets should never be worn as a protective device while biking.
- Buy the right size of bike for your child. Oversized bikes are especially dangerous. Your child should be able to sit on the seat, with hands on the handlebars, and place the balls of both feet on the ground. Your child’s first bike should also be equipped with footbrakes, since your children’s hand muscles and coordination are not mature enough to control hand brakes.
- All riders should follow the basic rules of the road. Stop and look both ways before entering the street. Stop at all intersections, whether marked or unmarked, and respect stop signs.
- Teach your child to ride on the right with traffic. Riding against traffic confuses or surprises drivers. Almost one fourth of bicycle-car collisions result from bicyclists riding against traffic. Encourage them to use sidewalks when possible.
- Practice common routes your child may ride frequently ahead of time. This can help you see how well they can manage the route and point out things that can help them stay safe.
- Don’t allow your children to ride their bikes at night. Children should only ride a bike when there is plenty of daylight. Encourage them to wear white or bright-colored clothing to increase visibility.
Never let your child play near the street. Your child may dart out into traffic without thinking. The park or playground is the best place to play. Begin at a young age to teach your child safe street habits. When crossing the street, follow these safety tips to keep your kids safe.
- Teach your child to stop at the curb, then look to the left, to the right, and back to the left again.
- Remind them to continue looking until they are safely across the street.
- Teach your kids to put phones, headphones, and other devices down when crossing the street.
- It’s always best to walk on sidewalks and cross at street corners.
- Teach them to use crosswalks when available and stick to a safe route. Remind your kids of this as they get older.
- Teach your young child never to cross the street without a grown-up.
Walking and biking are great ways to get exercise for kids. Take the time to help teach your kids these street safety rules so you can help prevent injuries from happening to them. If you have any questions or need any help with your children’s health, contact The Pediatric Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho or Rigby, Idaho.
Some content provided by The American Academy of Pediatrics https://healthychildren.org/