Safety Tips for Kids Biking to School
Road Safety on Your Way to Class
At Lil’ Iguana’s Children’s Safety Foundation, our mission is to educate and empower children to lead safe, happy, and healthy lives. One of the essential life skills we emphasize is bicycle safety and wearing the proper gear. As children venture to school on foot or bike, it’s crucial to equip them with the knowledge and tools to ensure their safety. It’s important to help as parents and caregivers to protect our children as they embark on the exciting journey of walking or biking to school.
When teaching kids about biking to school, it's important to keep a few things in mind:
- Plan the Route Together: Before the first day of school, plan the route your child will take to school. Walk or bike the route together, pointing out safe crosswalks, pedestrian signals, and designated bike lanes. Teach them the importance of sticking to the chosen path to avoid unfamiliar or potentially dangerous areas. Be sure to practice.
- Practice Safe Road Crossing: Teach your child how to safely cross the road. Stress the importance of looking both ways before crossing, obeying traffic signals, and only crossing at designated crosswalks or intersections. Encourage them to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they are seen.
- Bicycle Helmet Safety: If your child is biking to school, ensure they always wear a properly fitting bicycle helmet. Explain why helmets are essential in preventing head injuries and set a good example by wearing one yourself when biking together.
- Be Visible: In low-light conditions, it’s crucial to increase your child’s visibility. Attach reflective strips to their backpack, clothing, and bicycle, and equip them with a front and rear bike light. Bright clothing is also helpful, making them easily noticeable to drivers.
- Stranger Danger Awareness: Teach your child about “stranger danger” and get permission. Lil’ Iguana teaches everyone is a stranger unless you have permission to go with them right then and there. Establish a clear plan for who will greet them at school and meet them at home.
- Travel with a Buddy: Whenever possible, encourage your child to walk or bike with friends or siblings. There is safety in numbers. Traveling together can deter potential hazards.
- Cell Phone Etiquette: If your child has a cell phone, remind them to stay focused on the road and not to use their phone while walking or biking. Distractions can lead to accidents.
- Emergency Contact Information: Ensure your child has easy access to emergency contact information. This should include your phone number, a trusted neighbor’s contact, and any relevant medical information. Encourage them to carry it in their backpack or bike bag in case they need it for any reason.
- Weather Preparedness: Teach your child to adapt to weather conditions. In rain or snow, they should wear appropriate clothing and use extra caution on slippery surfaces. If conditions are severe, consider alternate transportation.
Walking or biking to school can be a rewarding and healthy experience for children. By instilling these safety tips from a young age, we empower our children to make wise decisions. It’s important to stay alert, and protect themselves on their daily journeys. At Lil’ Iguana’s Children’s Safety Foundation, we believe that a safe and happy childhood sets the foundation for a lifetime of well-being. By teaching children these safety skills, we contribute to their growth and development, fostering a sense of independence while ensuring their safety every step or pedal of the way. Together, we can create a world where children thrive, safe and secure on their paths to success.