Bike & Wheeled Recreation Safety

Transportation Safety, Injury Prevention & Safety, Info for Health Professionals

It’s important to consider the child developmental and injury risk factors associated with bike and wheeled recreation.  Injuries related to bike and wheeled recreation are especially high when physical and cognitive development, environmental risks, and skill level are not appropriately managed.

Many children will be able to ride a tricycle by age 3. A tricycle that is close to the ground and with large wheels will help prevent it from tipping. Children should ride tricycles in a fenced area such as a back yard or a park; tricycles should not be used in the street or driveway. Driveways are dangerous because you may not see a child when you are pulling into or backing out of the drive. Active supervision is extremely important while your child is riding a tricycle.

Many children have the physical motor skills to ride a bicycle by age 5 or 6, but the ability to judge traffic safety risks develops much later – usually between the ages of 10 and 14. With adult supervision, children can ride safely on pathways and roads with little traffic and a low speed limit. Children under 10 should not be riding on the road without an adult. If your child is over 10, make sure that he has had lots of training and supervised practice before he rides on the road alone. Children under 1 year of age do not have the neck and head muscles to ride in a bike carrier or trailer.

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