We love biking. One thing that we’ve done a lot of since we’ve been home and in isolation is biking. It’s something that we can all do together now that our youngest has dropped the training wheels. It feels so invigorating to get out in our neighbourhood together. Now that we can all bike together we can go farther than just our neighbourhood.
We’ve already made it to the PPJ trail once and boy did we love it. We are so lucky that we are able to bike along the PPJ during these times, it’s such a smooth surface that makes for safe biking and a lot less shouts of “move off the road.
Springtime is the perfect time for biking, the weather is not too hot or too cold. This spring we’ve done a lot of biking in the rain, we would set out in search of the biggest puddles and go through them as fast as we could. This always made for some happy kiddos. If your child has outgrown their bike or doesn’t yet have one, make sure to check local online groups for second hand ones. There always seems to be a lot of them for sale for a great price.
With the fun that comes with biking we have to make sure to teach our children the safety issues that come along with biking. Teaching our children the rules of the road, which side of the road to drive on, dressing them in bright and visible colours and wearing bicycle helmets are some of the steps we can take to keep them safe while on the road. I always end up at the back of the line yelling at my kids to move off the road. I suspect that won’t change any time soon.
Most importantly, we need to insist that our children wear their helmets each and every time they get on a bike, whether it is for a short trip, a day of biking or even when in the bike seat behind mom or dad. Next up we need to ensure that we never buy a used helmet and that we replace all helmets that have had a direct impact. Unlike other types of helmets, bike helmets are only made to protect against one impact and should be replaced after they received any significant impact, like from a fall. We should also take extra care not to throw our helmet around which could cause similar damage.
Here are some great safety tips when considering a helmet:
When buying a helmet always look for the CSA certification which means that the helmet has met the requirements of Canada’s National Standard for Bicycle helmets.
Proper fit is something which can be difficult to achieve. Children should never wear a hat or cap under their helmets. Helmets should fit snuggly and should not move when your child shakes his or her head side-to-side or front-to-back.
Helmets should sit level on your child’s head and should not be tilted forward or back exposing their foreheads or the back of their heads.
Toddlers should be wearing toddler specific helmets which provide added protection at the back or their heads.
Helmets should sit level and should cover their foreheads- resting about two fingers above their eyebrows. The side straps should form a V around your child’s ears and the chin strap should always be buckled and tight enough that you can only fit one finger between the strap and their chin.
If you are having difficulty finding a helmet or are unsure of the fit don’t hesitate to ask a professional at a bike shop for help.
One last safety tip is to ensure you children remove their helmets once they get off their bikes. Children should not climb trees or play structures while wearing any kind of helmet in case they get hung up and the straps get caught.
Don’t forget moms and dads, it’s best to lead by example and wear your own helmet as well.
I hope that your children are enjoying some great quality time outside these days, even with the cooler temperatures.
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