League of Michigan Bicyclists

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What Parents Need to Know about Children and Bicycles

This power point presentation is designed to be given to PTAs and other gatherings of parents. The presentation is available in both English and Spanish . Following is a review of the slides and the points to emphasize. These are intended as a guide and you should express the intent in your own words and style.
Introduce yourself and your background. Thank your host for inviting you to the event.
Read the slide to give the audience a sense of who LMB is and what you represent.
Introduce the presentation ... first click gives you "What Parents Need to Know" and second click gives you "About Children and Bicycles."


Read the slide and make a comment about how important helmets are. Such as, "Children are an important asset for our future and it is important to protect what they are learning at home and school."


Discuss how to fit a helmet properly. First click gives you the top - 2 finger image. Second click gives you the bottom left - "v" over the ear slide. Third click gives you the slide with the chin strap test.


As you briefly discuss what a helmet can do in an accident this is a good place to have a helmet as a prop that you can drop to demonstrate the violence of the rider hitting the pavement. A helmet with rattles inside it dropped from shoulder height makes a devilish noise and gets the parent's attention. It is also important to point out that the 50% of the crashes occurring simply by the riding falling, nothing else involved.


Introduce proper bike fit. Kids come in different sizes, just as bikes do. The kids here are on properly fitted bikes. Ask them to imagine if they were on the other bike. Stress the importance of not buying a bike too big so that the child can "grow" into it.

Discuss how it is difficult to see the children on the sides with dark clothing. While the children in the middle are easier to see because of light colored clothing. Introduce the importance of visibility.


The first click on this slide brings the two outsides of the picture. Contrast the dark clothing of the child with bright visible clothing of the policeman. The second click will bring the middle picture. Emphasize that with the simple addition of a highly visible vest the winter coat can still be used.


Discuss the importance of the parents maintaining the bike for the child. The second click brings up the words ABC Quick Check. This will lead into the next slide.


The first click will bring up "A." Talk about making sure the tires are inflated properly, they are in good condition and the wheels are in good condition. The second click brings up "B." Talk about brakes working properly. the third click brings up "C." Talk about the condition of the chain and drivetrain. You might also mention here the derailleurs, if the child has such a bike. The fourth click brings up "Quick Check." Discuss the importance of doing a quick assessment that everything is working before they ride their bikes.


These are the riding skills that parents need to make sure their children know and can do. Briefly review each.

First click - Sidewalks: According to SR2S and the League of American Bicyclists children under the age of 10 should ride on sidwalks, unless accompanied by a parent. You can talk about how children under 10 have not developed enough to safely understand how to interact with other road users. The second click - Multi Use Paths: Children of all ages can enjoy and use paths. The third click- Street: Tell the parents that if they feel comfortable and allow it, children over the age of 10 normally have developed the skills needed to interact with other road users safely. Emphasize that this is only a rule of thumb and children develop at different rates.


If they are allowed on the street children must know and follow these safety rules.


First click brings up the art work in the background only. This is to signify that the bicycle can do many things to help our society. The second click brings up "Health & Wellness." Talk about how the bicycle can play a role in preventing obesity and other diseases. The third click brings up "The Environment." Talk aobut how the bicycle is non-polluting, environmentally friendly vehicle. The fourth click brings up "Means of Transportation." Talk about the bicycle as a means of transportation. You can point out that 40% of the automobile trips in this country are 2 miles or less, something that could easily be done by a bicycle.


This slide covers the basics: same rights, ride to right, signal turns and obey traffic signals. Parents need to know that their child has a legal obligation to follow these rules.


Thank the audience for being there, thank your host and ask for any questions?


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