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Mistakes not to be made when children ride bicycles

Errores que no se deben cometer cuando los niños van en bicicleta

31/05/2021

Bicycles have many advantages: They don't pollute, they reduce noise pollution, are good exercise and they don't use fuel, and children enjoy riding them. Whether as passengers or drivers, it is important to avoid making a series of mistakes listed below that can put their safety at risk. 

MISTAKES NOT TO BE MADE ON A BICYCLE:

-Making the child ride a bicycle without stabilizers before he/she is ready. We need to remember that each child has his/her own development. In this sense, balance bikes often help children learn to balance without looking for the support of stabilizers and are often a good step towards conventional bicycles. In all cases, we must respect the individual development and capabilities of each child. 

-Adjusting the saddle and handlebars to the wrong height. Especially if they are learning, they must be able to place their feet flat on the ground. The saddle should be adjusted progressively according to the child's height and ability.

-Riding a bicycle without the right protection is another big mistake that should be avoided at all costs, whether they are riding as passengers or as drivers. Remember, in Spain it is mandatory for children under 16 years of age to wear a helmet. Here we discuss the importance of this safety element and offer tips for choosing the best child helmet. They should also use knee pads and elbow pads. 

-Riding in the wrong places. When the child can ride on his/her own or when riding with an adult, we must remember the importance of riding in the correct places. It's a fact that children learn and repeat everything adults do. You should try to ride on the roads assigned for cyclists. When crossing a pedestrian crossing, we must always get off the bicycle. 

Small children can obviously ride on sidewalks accompanied by an adult. Children should ride their scooters or bicycles in safe places away from traffic and other users. This avoids accidents and children can fully enjoy and learn to use their vehicle safely.

-Avoid distractions. If the child is riding a bicycle, it is important that he/she is not carrying anything that could distract him/her. All attention must be on riding and his/her surroundings. 

-It is important to point out that an adult can transport a child on a bicycle until they are 7 years old. The child must obviously be seated in an approved seat. Riding incorrectly puts both of you in danger. Here we offer advice on how children should ride bicycles when riding as passengers. 

-It is very important to ride calmly and avoid abrupt maneuvers: sudden acceleration, pulling on the brakes.

-Wearing dull colors such as black or gray should also be avoided. Bicycles are a very vulnerable means of transport and, therefore, we must take all necessary measures to be more visible. In addition to wearing the bicycle's own lights, it is advisable to wear bright colors and reflective elements to be more visible to other road users. This is especially important when riding with other vehicles, when riding when there is less light or when riding with very young children. It should be noted that balance bikes for example have no lights as they are not considered vehicles as such and will not be riding on the road.

In this regard, bicycles should have reflectors in different parts to capture the light from car headlights. The minimum element is a red reflector at the back, two orange side reflectors on the wheels and one white reflector at the front.

Regarding the lights, there should be one at the back in red and one at the front in white. The light can be fixed or flashing, but must be turned on. Nowadays with LED lighting systems, bicycle light batteries last longer and are also rechargeable.

-The clothing, as well as bright, should be comfortable. Wearing flip-flops should be avoided as well as jeans that prevent mobility. We should also remember possible accidents and protection that specific clothing provides.

Finally, we would like to emphasize each individual's responsibility to ensure everyone's safety. 

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