For a small child, learning to ride a bike on his or her own will be one of the most exciting experiences of his or her early childhood. It will also provide a great bonding experience for you and your son or daughter to enjoy. The following tips will make the process of learning to ride a bike safer and easier for your child.
Always, Always, ALWAYS Make Them Wear a Helmet
As a parent, you know that looking out for the safety of your child is your top job. While your young one will not necessarily enjoy the idea of wearing a helmet while learning to ride his or her bicycle, a quick look at a few statistics and it becomes obvious there is no room for negotiating this safety principle.
Bicycle accidents are listed as one of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries. In fact, 75 percent of the 700 individuals who lose their lives while riding bicycles in the United States each year succumb to head injuries. Bicycle helmets reduce the risk of head injury risk by 85 percent. It is also 88 percent less likely your child will suffer a traumatic injury to the brain if he or she is properly using a helmet.
Begin With Balancing a Bike
Your child should be ready to start practicing with a balancing bike at or around 2 years of age. A balancing bike does not have pedals and should be adjusted so that the child can place both feet on the ground. Teach your son or daughter to first to shuffle his or her feet and make the bike crawl forward. In time, your child will be anxious to move much faster. You will even see him or her push off and lift both feet from the ground for mini-rides.
Select the Location
It is important that you find an open and safe location when you are ready to teach your child to ride a bicycle with two wheels. Examples of good locations to teach your child to ride a bike include empty parking lots, paved playgrounds, or a flat, low-cut field. These are better alternatives to narrow sidewalks in your neighborhood, as the nearby traffic is likely to make your son or daughter nervous.
Begin in the Ready Position
Once your child is ready for a solo attempt on his or her bike, he or she will need to know the ready position. This is where one of the bike's pedals is just a little forward of its highest point with the child's foot ready to press forward to power the bike. Take some time practicing with your child so that he or she can build up the bike's speed fast enough to keep it upright.
The time you spend teaching your child to ride a bike will be memorable for both of you. There are not many things more rewarding than watching your son or daughter conquer his or her fears and meet the challenges life presents to him or her. The tips above will help your child to remain safe and have fun while learning to ride a bicycle.
Bikes are wonderful toys for children, but there are also a lot of other ones that are fun for them to play with. Check out our selection of toys today!