Summer Bicycle Riding Safety Tips for Younger Kids (13 and younger)

Posted on June 9, 2018 in Tips

This Spring we got all our kids new bikes. They hadn’t had new bikes in a long time so it was time! With bikes comes responsibility and rules. Both of which can be hard for kids 13 and younger, however – they are a must when it comes to bicycles as safety is the top priority.

Ever since getting their new bikes my kids are always wanting to go out to ride and seeing kids riding around with no helmets really makes me cringe. So, it was important to me to make sure my kids had set rules before they even got their bikes. The two most important were: Do not even sit on your bike without a helmet and always walk your bikes across the road. Why? Helmets because protecting their heads is a major concern but also because it’s the law. I can’t believe the amount of kids I see riding their bikes around on the road and without helmets. Makes me sick – it takes only a second for a bicycle accident, and heads should be protected.

For us in Ontario the MTO website states, By law, every cyclist under age 18 must wear an approved helmet. Riders under 16 years old: a parent or guardian must make sure their child wears a helmet.

Now, here is a tricky part: Kids riding on the road. My older kids have been learning hand signals, and how to properly ride on the roads whereas the younger kids: Strictly don’t go on the roads. At all. Per the MTO website: Children under 10 years old should not ride their bicycles in traffic. To be safe on-road cyclists, good judgement and physical coordination is required. Children under 10 lack depth perception and the thinking skills required to negotiate traffic. Proper adult supervision is required.

So we will get to that as the kids get older, but for now – when we go for walks they stay on the sidewalk. The law where I live stipulates that anyone under 13 can ride a bike on sidewalks.

Communities across Ontario have different rules about young children riding on sidewalks while they learn to ride. Contact your local municipality for information about cycling by-laws.

I decided I’ve seen enough of kids riding around lately that I’d share some these tips!

Summer Bicycle Riding Safety Tips for Younger Kids

Always wear a helmet: Not only is this the law for anyone under the age of 18 it is the safest way to ride a bicycle. I know kids don’t tend to want to wear them, but making sure they know and have rules like we do (ie: You cannot take your bike out of the garage without a helmet on) from an early age helps establish that its mandatory to wear a helmet when riding a bike so kids don’t try to battle. This is one battle every child should lose!

Walk bikes across the road: When crossing the street our number 1 rule is to walk bikes across. Cars tend to be a little speedy in our area, and making sure my kids walk their bikes across the road helps ensure they won’t fall, or get stuck in the middle of the road for any reason. Walking their bikes across is much safer.

Tuck shoe laces in: Okay, this one is probably one that people will think I’m nuts for but if my child has on laced shoes I make sure they tuck their laces into their shoes before hopping on their bikes. A lesson I learned when I was a kid, and fell multiple times due to shoe laces. No thank you!

Sidewalk manners: I’ve always taught my kids from a young age, on a bike or off to have sidewalk manners. When someone is walking down the sidewalk with a stroller, or on a bicycle step to the side. Same goes for on their bikes, move to the side. Elderly are also a priority, if they are coming – get out of their way.

Stay together: If my older kids (15, 12 and 11) want to head anywhere on their bikes not only must they abide by all the rules but they also must stay together. No speeding off in front of anyone, stay with each other and if someone falls behind stop and wait until they catch up!

Stay alert: Always stay alert. Be sure to take in surroundings and know where you are going before you go! Watch for cars backing out or pulling into driveways, and wanting to turn in or out when crossing the street.Once kids are older these rules dramatically change. They’ll have to ride on the road and follow the rules of the road to be cycling on it. I haven’t gotten there with my younger kids yet, but my oldest knows all about it. He doesn’t ride a bike, it’s not really his thing but my others love it so I’m sure in the next few years another post will pop up with some of the rules and ways to make sure our kids are safe when cycling on the roads!

Be safe!

30 Comments

  • Reply candy June 9, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Where we live everyone riding a bike has to have a safety helmet on, plus the younger kids have to wear reflective vest while riding. Always good to look out for our children.

  • Reply wendy June 9, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    So important to teach kids how to be safe on a bike. I sometimes wonder when I see some kids and how careless they are on a bike with crossing the streets, etc. Helmets are a must!

  • Reply Jenn June 9, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    These are great safety tips. I can remember our girls being to ride on their own. It’s always a worrisome time but oh so fun.

  • Reply Roch June 9, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    Wearing a helmet when riding bikes should be a must. Right here, only motorcycle riders are required by law but I think even other cyclists should be too for their safety.

  • Reply Donna Ward June 10, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Bikes are definitely fun for both kids and adults. Safety should always be a priority I can’t begin to tell how many adults I’ve seen riding bikes without a helmet.

  • Reply Marysa June 10, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Wearing a helmet is so important! My friend was hit by a car when she was a kid and her helmet saved her life. It is just not worth it to skip wearing the helmet for any reason. And adults should be a role model for sure!

  • Reply Cat June 10, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    It is so important for kids (and parents) to learn about what makes bike riding a safe and fun activity for summer break! Enjoyed your tips–very helpful!

  • Reply Angela Ricardo June 11, 2018 at 1:35 am

    Awesome tips! Hubby was actually planning to get our son his first bike and settled for a scooter like one so when he turns one we can guide him to use it. Great information by the way.

  • Reply Karissa @WithOurBest June 11, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    Thanks for teaching your kids good bike etiquette! I wish some adults knew these rules better!

  • Reply robin rue June 12, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Love all these tips. I don’t let my kids ride on the road,, but I think learning the hand signals is a great idea – just in case.

  • Reply Terri Steffes June 12, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Helmets are a must for all. We live in a neighborhood with a lot of physical activity. I cannot tell you how many serious bike accidents we have had due to no helmet. Its crazy.

  • Reply Jeanette June 12, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Whenever like it I was writing his bike I require him to wear helmets. It freaks me out if he doesn’t. You’re right it only takes one second to change everything in your life.

  • Reply Tasheena June 12, 2018 at 10:20 am

    I really enjoyed reading your post. These are great tips. It’s so important for the kiddos to stay alert when riding bicycles.

  • Reply Melissa Chapman June 12, 2018 at 10:22 am

    My kids are a little older and we go on bike rides every so often but helmets are a non-negotiable. My son always rides next to my husband when he runs which is great exercise for both.

  • Reply candy June 12, 2018 at 10:58 am

    Helmet is always a must for everyone riding. Take the kids to a local police or fire department when they give their summer bike safety classes. They go over all the rules of the road and how to signal etc. Parents should attend with the child as well.

  • Reply Amber Myers June 12, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Great to know! I always tell my daughter to wear a helmet. She’s on her bike quite a bit. You just never know! She mostly stays on the sidewalk and away from traffic. People can drive like maniacs here.

  • Reply Aileen Adalid June 12, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    My nephew is just learning how to properly ride his bike so this post of yours really helps so he stays safe! I will be sharing this with my sister.

  • Reply Nita June 12, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    With riding bicycles safety is very important for our kids. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Reply Mommy Peachy June 12, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    I couldn’t have said it any better! These are such awesome tips! Kids should always wear a helmet and say alert

  • Reply Alison Rost June 12, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    It’s always better to be safe when it comes to letting the kids go outside on their own. I think these bike safety tips should be followed no matter where you are in the world!

  • Reply Lisa Favre June 12, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    I never thought of tucking shoe laces in but it’s actually such a brilliant idea! I remember always having trouble with my laces when I’d bike outside as a little one.

  • Reply Pam June 12, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    Bike safety is so important. I have seen a lot of avoidable bike accidents from things like not wearing helmets.

  • Reply Ricci June 13, 2018 at 2:55 am

    I remember the days of riding around the neighborhood sans any protective equipment! I guess that’s not a popular choice these days, LOL! I guess if I ever have kids I will be following all of these tips!!

  • Reply Anosa Malanga June 13, 2018 at 3:06 am

    Definitely a good idea for kids to enjoy outside. Learning the rules of the road, the do’s and don’ts should be really the first thing. Plus making sure they are not alone too.

  • Reply Chubskulit Rose June 13, 2018 at 6:22 am

    My son was out biking yesterday. We haven’t done it as a family this year yet but we will. Biking is a great exercise for all ages.

  • Reply Carol Cassara June 13, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Safety is always important when it comes to outdoor activities like this! I think you’re doing an awesome job reminding the kids on what not to do when they’re out and about on their bike!

  • Reply Gemille Sleweon June 13, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    Bike safety is very important! i remember making my parents buy me matching helmet, knee and elbow pads when i was a kids and never wearing them. I have the scars to prove it.

  • Reply Farida June 13, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    My niece goes around our village on her bike with her helmet on. Sometimes, she goes home crying because of a bad fall. But she continues to ride on her bike after. I’m sure she’ll do better as she continues to practice.

  • Reply brianne June 14, 2018 at 6:33 am

    We love riding our bikes in the summertime. And yes helmets are so important!

  • Reply Jenn June 14, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    The shoe lace one was not something I had thought of but it makes sense! We are still in Velcro but soon enough! Thank you!

  • Leave a Reply

    Back to top