Bike and ATV safety for kids

There are so many great reasons to ride your bike: It offers fun and exercise and is a great way for kids to get from point A to point B. We want kids and families to ride their bikes as much as possible.

Here are a few tips to help you stay safe while you do so:

  • Wear a properly fitted helmet. A helmet can reduce the risk of head injuries by at least 45 percent – yet less than half of children 14 and under usually wear a bike helmet.
  • Ride on the sidewalk when you can. If there is no sidewalk, ride in the same direction as traffic, as far to the right as possible.
  • Use hand signals and follow the rules of the road. Be predictable by riding in a straight line, and don’t swerve between cars.
  • Wear bright colors and use lights, especially when riding at night and in the early morning. Reflectors on your clothes and bike will help you be seen by drivers.
  • Ride with your children. Stick together until you are comfortable that your kids are ready to ride on their own.

In addition to bike safety, all terrain vehicle (ATV) safety also is important to remember. On average, six children die from ATV-related injuries in South Carolina each year.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend the use of off road vehicles by children under age 16. However, if you do choose to use them, help keep your family safe by following these tips:

  • Choose the right size ATV for you and for your child.
  • Do not use the ATV on public streets.
  • Always wear a safety helmet, reflective clothing and protective eye gear.
  • The minimum age to operate an ATV in the state of South Carolina is 6 years old.
  • Children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult if riding on public land.
  • It is required by state law that all ATV drivers complete a hands-on ATV rider safety training course approved by the ATV Safety Institute.

Dr. Ashley Flesher is a pediatrician with Pediatric Associates–Powdersville. Learn more about Pediatric Associates–Powdersville & Easley or find another Prisma Health pediatrician near your work or home here. You also can call 1-844-447-3627 for help connecting with a pediatrician.

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