Some of the most avid bicyclists are children. In fact, more than 70% of children ages 5 to 14 ride bicycles on a regular basis. That’s well over 27 million children in that age group alone. Children ride twice as much as an average bicyclist. Unfortunately, this also equates to more injuries and fatalities. This age group also accounts for 24% of all bicycle-related deaths and one half of all bicycle injuries.[1] With children at such a high risk of injury or death, it is important for parents to teach them safe bicycle-riding procedures.

First things first: your child should always wear a helmet. Utah State law dictates that all persons 17 years of age and younger must wear proper safety helmets. As stated previously in this book, helmets greatly reduce the risk of head injuries. Teach your child from the very beginning that helmets are important for safety. Do not budge on this issue. Let your child know that a helmet is never optional.

Take your child to your local bicycle shop and have him/her try on several helmets. Bring the helmet level over your child’s forehead and adjust the chin strap so that it fits snugly, but is also comfortable. The helmet should not slip forward or backward and should sit two finger widths above the eyebrows. As long as the helmet meets proper safety guidelines, allow your child to pick a helmet that has the design or color he/she wants. This is just one way of ensuring the helmet will actually be used!

Bear in mind that children are less likely to wear a helmet if they do not see you using one. Practice what you preach, and set a good example for your kids. The cost of a helmet for every bicyclist in your family is far cheaper than the medical expenses that can result from an accident without a helmet. If you do by chance experience a bicycle injury due to the negligence of another, it is important to find an experienced bicycle accident lawyer to help you through your accident case.

[1] Firehouse & Safe Kids Fact Sheets. 4 Sep. 2000. 17 June 2009 <>