Myths about Bicycle Safety
As summer quickly approaches, children will be spending more time outside playing with family and friends. One of the most popular outdoor activities for kids is riding a bike. This fun activity comes with its own set of rules; below are a few myths and facts to ensure your child stays safe this summer.
Myth: My child doesn't need to wear a helmet on short rides around the neighborhood.
Fact: Your child needs to wear a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how close to home. Many accidents happen on driveways, sidewalks and bike paths, not just on streets. In fact, most bike crashes happen near home. A helmet protects your child from serious injury and should always be worn.
Myth: A football helmet will work just as well as a bicycle helmet.
Fact: Only a bicycle helmet is made specifically to protect the head from any fall that may occur while biking. Never allow your child to wear another type of helmet when riding a bike.
Myth: I need to buy a bicycle for my child to grow into.
Fact: Oversized bikes are especially dangerous.
Myth: It's safer for my child to ride facing traffic.
Fact: Your child should always ride on the right, with traffic. Riding against traffic can confuse or surprise drivers.
Myth: Bike reflectors and a reflective vest will make it safe for my child to ride at night.
Fact: It's never safe for your child to ride a bike at night. Never allow your child to ride after dark.
Teach your child these basic safety rules:
- 1.Wear a helmet.
- 2.Ride on the right side, with traffic.
- 3.Use appropriate hand signals.
- 4.Respect traffic signals.
Following these basic safety measures will help keep bicycle riding enjoyable and safe for your child. And, if you ever need us, our regional Pediatric ER at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children is open 24/7 to care for your child.
Mudasser Ibrahim, MD, is a physician in the Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children Pediatric Emergency Department. He attended medical school at Gandhi Medical College in Hyderabad, India. He completed his pediatric residency at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital in Pensacola, Florida. In his free time he enjoys playing soccer, table tennis, traveling and spending time with his family. He has 2 children who are three and one years old.