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Safe Cycling With Tots
More and more cyclists are taking to the outdoors to make the most of the warmer weather, and many are heading out with their little ones in tow. Maybe you’re one of these mums and dads? Here’s how to keep the family safe as you cycle outdoors with your children.
Find the right seat
It’s important little children are carried on the back of bikes in seats that conform to correct safety standards that are appropriate for the child’s age and size. The seat must also be appropriate for the make of bike. Make sure your child is strapped in properly, too, to prevent them from slipping out.
It’s a good idea to try a dry run, perhaps out on a quiet country road or residential street. That way you can get used to the extra load on your bike. Remember, the additional weight means stopping distances will take longer so make sure you brake well in advance.
When your child is old enough to ride their own bike, make sure it’s the right size. Not too big or too small! Ensure they can reach the handle bars and brakes, and reach the ground with their toes while sat in the saddle.
Children should wear helmets at all times when on a bike, whether cycling on their own or as a passenger when an adult is cycling. It’s important the head is protected in the event of an accident, but be wary of using ones that have already been used as the slightest bit of damage affects the integral strength.
Riding a bike is a major milestone for children and one that aids their physical development and sense of independence. Help them get to grips with this fun and valuable skill safely by choosing the right place for them to start out, such as a back garden or park, and teach them the importance of being aware of their surroundings.
More cycling safety advice is available via the RoSPA website.