Hopping on your bike and going to meet up with friends is one of the greatest joys for a kid. There is the sense of independence from being able to get somewhere on your own and the freedom that comes with riding up and down the road. And for parents, there is the extra bonus of knowing your child is doing something that is healthy.
However, while there are so many benefits to bicycling, there are also a number of risks, so it is important for parents to emphasize safety.
Model safe behaviors
If you are a cyclist yourself, you want to be a good role model for your child. For example, your son or daughter might see that you do not wear a helmet. Seeing this, they may decide to also not wear a helmet when they are out with their friends. Similarly, though, if you always wear bright colors when you ride, your child could pick up on that and also decide to wear bright colors -- to be more visible -- when riding.
Perform weekly safety checks
On a regular basis, you and your child should check that the bike's tires are properly inflated and that the brakes are working smoothly. Also check the fit of your child's helmet regularly.
Preventative measures can't always stop an accident
While teaching your child bicycling safety rules is important, even the safest rider can still get in an accident. Unsafe road conditions -- like potholes -- and unsafe drivers are not something we can control. This is why, as a parent, it's important to also educate your child on what to do after a crash and yourself on what legal rights you and your child have as cyclists.