Bike safety and kids – teaching hand signals

by Jen on August 7, 2012 in bike riding with kids,bike safety,hand signals,outdoor play

Last week I shared with you the new adventures that our family has been having since both of my girls are 2-wheeled bike riders. When I was a kid I lived in the suburbs and riding my bike meant hopping on and wheeling anywhere, anytime. My kids live in the city, so riding a bike for them is entirely different. When they hop on their bikes I want them to feel comfortable enough to feel as though they can ride anywhere they want. As a parent I know it is my responsibility to teach them proper bike safety…bike safety and kids go hand in hand. One of the basics of road safety is understanding hand signals.
Do you remember what the proper hand signals are? I had to explain to my daughters that there was a time when cars didn’t have turn signals (of course there was a time when we rode around in carriages, but I didn’t want to scare them). Using hand signals is a universal way to communicate where you are going to vehicles and people behind a bike rider. Now, since the girls are beginner riders, at least Cee is, I decided to start this education while walking – not riding. We played a simple game. As we walked along the sidewalk I would shout out a direction and the girls had to use the proper hand signal.
left hand signal kids
left turn
right hand turn kids
right turn
kids stop hand signal
stop
By turning these simple hand signals into a game, my girls are better able to remember what they are. I was very proud when we were out on a ride the other night and I suggested they try the hand signals. They are still a little timid about taking a hand off the handle bars…but they knew what the signal was they needed to make. That’s one step closer to being a safe bike riders.
Some other fundamental road rules for kid bikers…
always wear a properly sized helmet, riding a bike should be fun, not tragic
always ride on the right side of the road, ride with the flow of traffic
obey stop signs and traffic lights, just like a car
ring your bell to communicate to people walking, when passing another bike or when you need to communicate to another vehicle on the road
make sure your bike and you have proper reflectors…you have to be seen to be safe
check out these cool reflectors for kids to wear that are available at ActiveKidsClub.com
Do you remember the hand signals? Any other bike safety tips for kids?
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