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Injury Prevention

Riding a Bike

Children need a lot of physical exercise and riding a bike is one fun way to keep healthy. But children can get injured from a fall from a bike, or riding too close to traffic. Children need time and experience to develop the skill of riding a bike in traffic.

Plan Ahead. Children grow fast. Make sure you’re ready for the next stage.

It’s important that your child’s bike is the right size. Here are some guidelines to make sure your child’s bike isn’t too big or too small.

  1. The balls of your child’s feet should touch the ground when they are sitting on the bike seat.
  2. When your child is straddling the bike, there should be at least 2 inches between your child’s crotch and the crossbar.
  3. When your child is riding, her knee should be slightly bent at the ‘bottom’ of each pedal stroke. Her thigh should be parallel to the ground at the top of each pedal stroke.
  4. You child should be leaning slightly forward to the handlebars, and putting a little weight on his hands.

What’s the rush? Does your child have the judgment and skill needed to ride a bike on the road alone?

Children do not have the physical skills or judgment needed to ride a bike alone until they are at least 10 years old. It will take time and supervision for your child to learn the skills needed to ride a bike safely. Children under 10:

  • Are not aware of possible dangers
  • Cannot judge how far away cars are from them or how fast cars are going
  • Have trouble figuring out the direction of sounds, like moving cars
  • Can be hard for drivers to see

Riding a bike requires many different skills, like:

  • Balancing and riding in a straight line
  • Controlling speed and being able to stop without losing control
  • Making turns using hand signals without falling off the bike
  • Being aware of traffic and other dangers
  • Being able to look over your shoulder without losing control
  • Following road safety rules
  • Judging how far away cars are, and how fast the cars are coming

Learn How. Make sure your child learns how to ride a bike right. Learn what to do if someone is hurt.

  • Supervise your child as they learn
  • Teach your child to always wear a helmet
  • Teach your child the skills of riding a bike on the road
  • Teach your child the rules of the road, such as how to use hand signals and where you can ride your bike
  • Teach your child to be aware of traffic and other dangers on the road
  • Think about cycling lessons for your child
Use it. Using the right safety gear can make a big difference for children and adults.

Make sure:

  • You and your child wear bike helmets
  • You and your child are visible to traffic by wearing brightly coloured clothes and reflectors.
  • The bike is safe to ride, with the brakes working and the properly inflated tires
  • The bike has a bell and lights that work
Take Action


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Improving access to coordinated, consistent, high-quality health care for children, youth and their families. 

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