Parent Information

Bicycle safety

Riding a bike is fun if it is done safely.  Most people don't realize hundreds of thousands of children are seriously injured each year in bicycle falls, and hundreds of children die in bicycle accidents each year.  The most serious injury is head trauma, which can cause death or permanent brain damage.  The severity of these head injuries can be reduced by 85% if all children wore bicycle helmets properly.

  • It is important to wear a bike helmet on every ride, no matter how short or close to home.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) should certify the helmet for bicycle use.  Make sure the bicycle helmet is worn correctly and fits well!  New Jersey State Law requires all children under the age of 17 to wear a helmet while biking, skateboarding, and in-line skating.
  • Your child should never ride a bike that is too big.  He/she should be able to sit comfortably on the seat with hands on the handlebars and the balls of both feet on the ground.  Your child's first bike should also be equipped with footbrakes, because your child's hand strength and coordination are not mature enough to control hand brakes.
  • Your child should always ride on the right with traffic!  Almost one-fourth of bicycle-car collisions result from bicyclists riding against traffic.
  • Your child should always use appropriate hand signals when riding in the street.  They are an important communication link between cyclists and motorists.
  • Never allow your child to ride their bike at dusk or after dark.
  • Bicyclists should always respect traffic signals.

For more information on selecting and using bicycle helmets, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics web site information page at http://www.aap.org/family/thelmabt.htm.


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