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Safety on Wheels

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Top Safety Tips for Cycling, In-line Skating and Skateboarding provided by Children”s Healthcare of Atlanta

Buying the right bicycle:
It is important to ride a bike that is the right size. In addition, consider the following recommendations:

  • The bicycle should not be too big or complicated.
  • You should be able to place the balls of your feet on the ground when sitting on the seat.
  • The bicycle should have a bell or horn.

Buying the right helmet:
Although helmets can cost between $13 and $50, they can save money by possibly preventing a visit to the emergency room. When shopping for a helmet, make sure it meets the following requirements:

  • The helmet should be approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Approved helmets meet stringent safety standards.
  • The helmet should fit your adolescent”s head so that when the straps are snug, the helmet does not move around on the head.

Some helmets are multi-sport, which can be used for in-line-skating, skateboarding, bicycling or other wheel sports. Helmets that specifically are called “bicycle helmets” are designed only for that sport. Helmets come in many sizes and varieties, including many infant sizes.

Proper helmet wear:
Helmets come with sponge pads that adjust to fit the head. A properly-fitted helmet should meet the following requirements:

  • The helmet should fit snug, not moving on the head.
  • The front edge of the helmet should be two finger widths above the eyebrows.
  • Front and back straps of the helmet should form a V just below the ear.
  • Front straps should be vertical and the rear straps should be flat.
  • The chin strap should be snug when you open your mouth (one finger should fit between the chin and chin strap when the mouth is closed).

Road rules:
Consider the following traffic and road rules:

  • Stop before riding into traffic from a driveway, sidewalk, parking lot, or other street.
  • Look left, right, and left again to check for cars.
  • If the road is clear, enter.
  • Ride on the far right of the road, with traffic.Ride so cars can see you, wearing brightly colored clothes, especially at night.
  • Obey all traffic signals and stop signs.
  • Look back and yield to traffic coming from behind before turning left.
  • Ride bicycles in single file.
  • Look for uneven pavement or other surface problems.

Special Note: Avoid riding your bicycle, in-line skates or skateboard during non-daylight hours or during bad weather. If you ride at night, make sure your bicycle has a headlight, flashing taillight, and reflectors.

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