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You can help stop injuries before they start by using the right equipment and teaching youngsters to following basic safety rules. By ensuring that children follow important safety measures, you can significantly lower the risk of accidents on bicycles and other outdoor equipment. Your American Red Cross encourages you to TAKE CARE for a fun and safe warm weather season. Whether the children in your life take to bikes, blades or boards this summer, we hope you find these safety tips helpful:

  • Always wear a correctly-fitting helmet when riding. Even children using tricycles or bikes with training wheels need to wear helmets. Adults should also wear helmets at all times, including when riding with children. The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute has more information on how to fit a helmet.
  • The helmet you buy should meet standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Snell Memorial Foundation or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Look for a label or a sticker on the box or inside the helmet indicating that it meets the above standards.
  • Kids take to wheels of all kinds. Be sure the helmet is designed for safety needs around the specific outdoor equipment a child uses - such as skateboards, scooters and roller blades. Skaters and boarders need other types of safety equipment, too, such as knee pads and wrist braces.
  • Wear closed shoes when riding a bike, scooter or skateboard.
  • Ensure that the bicycle your child rides is the correct fit for his/her size.
  • Check all equipment to make sure it is working. Test your child's bike for good brakes, working gears, a front light and effective reflecting material. Examine skateboards, scooters and roller blades to make sure the wheels are in good shape and securely fastened.
  • Teach younger children street smarts. They are still learning about the speed and sound of oncoming cars. Teach your children to stop at the curb and to never cross the street without a grown-up. Be aware of each child's level of ability and self reliance.
  • Reinforce safe riding practices with older children. Go over bicycle, blade and board etiquette and safety procedures with your kids.
  • Ride only in safe areas and at safe times.

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