A Summer Pastime - Learning How to Ride a BikeJune 27, 2008
The thought of taking the training wheels off can be frightening for kids and parents. Every young child has experienced getting that shiny new bike on their birthday and wanting to ride it so bad, but not knowing how yet. Accidents happen; kids fall off and get bumps and bruises, but they keep pushing forward. In a recent article in the Suburban Life Publications , Dr. Eve Wyrwa, Pediatrician of DuPage Medical Group, gave her professional opinion about bike safety. She says helmets are a way of life, “it has to be a family rule that you enforce from day one. A lot of times, parents say ‘Oh, little Johnny is just riding around in the driveway, so it’s not a big deal,’ but it has to be all the time. Buy a helmet before buying a bike, and let them pick it out because you’ll have a much better compliance rate if there’s a little Barbie pattern beckoning.” By wearing a helmet, you are preventing the possibility of further injury, rather than just bumps and bruises.
Pediatric doctors see many orthopedic injuries from bike accidents. It is important to know what bike is right, “You don’t want a bike that is uncomfortable or unmanageable for short arms and legs,” Wyrwa says. “And kids should be using the regular breaks rather than the hand ones when first driving because they haven’t yet acquired the strength and coordination.” Buying a bike is like buying a pair of shoes; while it may be expensive to buy several bikes for your child over the years, it is necessary for the child to have a bike that fits right.
Beginning this step up in your child’s life is exciting, but it needs to be done correctly. Keep safety in mind, but have fun and use encouraging thoughts with your child. These safety tips will be helpful for families in the local area who are enjoying the beginnings of the beautiful summer weather.
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