Back to School Safety: Bikes, Boards, and Wheels

By Myrna Burgoyne

The summer of 2023 has just been whizzing by, and the evidence is clear in all the stores that it’s time to think seriously about the kids transitioning from beaches and playgrounds back to learning through a new academic year.

Drivers beware!

The first thing to remember is that the kids could be still riding bikes, scooters and skateboards to and from school. Safety begins with alertness and awareness, yours and theirs. Drivers need to remind themselves that kids are on the roads during the school rush hours; kids need to be reminded of the importance of seeing and being seen.

School zones are clearly marked, so please pay attention, and take a moment to slow down for the kids.

Riders beware, too!

Every year, children are involved in all sorts of bicycle-, skateboard-, and scooter-related accidents, some of which might be preventable. A couple of preventative measures to begin checking are; the condition of your children’s helmets and the road-readiness of their bikes. Helmets need to be sized properly and be securely fastened under the chin when in use. Helmets must never have previously been involved in any kind of bump or fall that could have compromised their integrity.

If your family needs help getting proper-fitting helmets for the kids, reach out to Valent Legal, who lend their support to an important community initiative, Lids4Kids.

Pay attention to the bike

 A bicycle that’s measured to the correct size for your child is easier for them to control under pretty much all weather and road conditions. You’ll find they’re much more confident of their abilities when the bike fits them properly. A seasonal tune-up is always recommended.

Who needs to know what?

Review the rules of the road with your young riders. Kids under 14 are permitted to ride on the sidewalks in Nova Scotia, but they need to know that they share that public space with pedestrians and dog-walkers.

Be sure they know the safest routes around your neighbourhood, as well as how to securely lock the bike if they have to park it.

Tell them to put their headphones and earbuds away while riding, scootering, and skateboarding. Distraction or muffled hearing can lead to deadly consequences.

For highest visibility, dress them in reflective or brightly coloured clothing, so they can be easily seen by motorists.

Review the protocols for using hand-turn signals, specific rules for crossing roads and intersections, as well as how and when to ring their bike-bell to warn others of their presence.

Bike maintenance

Teach them to make basic adjustments on their bikes, such as checking optimum tire pressure and inflating them when needed, and adjusting their seat up or down for best comfort and control.

Bonus information

 When you’ve done all the things you can think of to ensure your children’s safety, be aware that accidents can still happen.

Valent Legal is your personal injury law firm, on hand to support you through any legal issues that may arise. Valent Legal will schedule you for a free consultation; just call 902-443-4488, or visit ValentLegal.ca for details.

This Content is made possible by our Sponsor; it is not written by and does not reflect the views of the editorial staff

 

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