Bike Safety For Kids | Bicycle Safety Tips For 2023

Bike Safety For Kids

Riding bikes is a lot of fun for kids but it can also be dangerous if they’re not careful.

That’s why it’s so important to teach your children about bicycle safety, and make sure they know the Do’s & Don’ts when it comes to riding a bike.

Today we’ll get into the details of bike safety for kids so you can feel secure that your kiddos keep safe while riding.

Bike Safety For Kids Ground Rules

Kids can get overly excited sometimes, and this can certainly be true when they’re riding their bikes.

Teach your young bike riders some ground rules early on.

  • Teach them to lock up their bike when it’s not in use
  • Teach your child not to ride at night
  • Teach your child the importance of distraction-free riding. This includes discouraging the use of cellphones, headphones, or earbuds while riding
  • Teach your child to be a defensive rider
  • Teach them to conduct basic bike maintenance
  • Teach your child to always wear a properly fitting bicycle helmet that is fastened securely

Kid’s Bike Safety Checklist

Kid's Bike Safety Checklist

You should check the bike’s condition regularly to make sure it’s safe for your kids to ride. All Bike Parts should be in good shape and properly maintained.

Bicycle Reflectors

It’s super important that all bikes have at least 4 reflectors.

Especially kids’ bikes!

Every bike should have at least 4 reflectors:

  • Front reflector – allows you to be seen by oncoming traffic
  • Rear reflector – allows you to be seen by traffic behind you
  • Bicycle wheel reflectors – allow you to be seen by traffic on either side of you

Bicycle lights 

Bicycle lights help your child to see the road ahead of them if they do ride after dark. They also enhance their visibility to other cyclists and pedestrians.

Bicycle lights come in a variety of styles, from flashing LED lights to rechargeable headlights and tail lights.

Some models even feature built-in reflectors that help increase visibility. It’s important to ensure your child has the right type and size of light for their bike.

Make sure to install front and rear lights on their bike so drivers can easily notice them.

There are many different types of lights on the market, but ensure to look for those certified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Are Bicycle Brakes Working Properly?

It’s crucial that the bike’s brakes work properly and easily.

You should be able to apply brakes fully without squeezing the brake lever too much.

The bike wheels should also turn freely without touching the brake pads.

Also, make sure that the brakes are adjusted correctly and that the brake pads are in good condition.

Finally, check the brake cables to ensure they are not frayed or damaged.

If the bike has coaster brakes, you should make sure they apply easily and fully when the cranks are pushed in reverse.

How To Test Your Bicycle Brakes

1. Start by slowly pedaling the bike and applying the brakes to make sure that they engage and slow the bike down.
2. Test the brakes at different speeds, from slow to fast, to ensure that they are working properly at all speeds.
3. Make sure to check for any signs of wear or damage on the brake pads or rims, as worn out parts can affect braking performance.
4. If you hear or feel any strange noises while testing the coaster brakes, stop riding immediately and inspect them for any problems.
5. Lastly, make sure to test the brakes in a safe and open area. 

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Is The Bicycle Chain Oiled & Maintained

Be sure that the bike chain is snug to the sprockets without being too tight.

Oil the chain regularly, and replace it if it’s rusty or doesn’t easily move and flex around sprockets.

Check the chain tension by lifting it up and down. It should have some play, but not move excessively.

Check the chain for wear, as a worn chain can cause skipping or jumping on the sprockets.

Make sure that the sprockets are in good condition and free of dirt or debris.

Are Bicycle Wheels and Tires In Good shape?

Are Bicycle Wheels and Tires In Good shape

Bike Tire Treads

The bike’s tires should have good treads.

If the tires are bald or close to being bald, then they won’t have proper traction when your kiddo is out on rides.

It’s important to check your bike’s tires regularly and replace them when necessary.

You can also add tire liners or puncture-resistant tubes to further protect the tires from wear and tear.

Bike Tire Pressure

Tire pressure is also important.

Make sure that bike tires are filled to the proper PSI.

Also, if you notice that you have to pump up the tires over and over each ride, then the tire’s intertube has a leak.

If there is a leak in the tire, the intertube should be replaced before going out on rides.

Bike Wheels

The bike wheels are the metal part that the tire and tire intertube go around.

Check to make sure there are no dents in the wheel’s rim or any missing spokes.

If the wheel is damaged then it should be repaired or replaced with a new one.

Make sure the bike’s wheel axles are tightened down properly to the bike frame at the rear of the bike, and to the fork at the front of the bike.

It’s also important to make sure the rear wheel is on straight,

If it’s not, then the rear wheel will wobble from side to side making for a very unsafe and unbalanced ride.

Are Bike Handlebars Tight and Upright?

Bike handlebars should be upright, at approximately a 90-degree angle from the ground, and should also be securely tightened at the handlebar stem.

Bike handlebars should be upright, at approximately a 90-degree angle from the ground, and should also be securely tightened at the handlebar stem.

The handlebar height should be adjusted to fit your child’s body size, and the distance between the handlebars and the saddle should be comfortable.

Make sure that your child can reach the brakes easily and they have enough room to reach both of the grips when turning the handlebars.

Are Handlebar Grips Secure?

The grips are what your child will hold on to, so it’s important that they are in good shape and not loose or abrasive.

If your child loses grip for any reason, it could lead to a nasty spill.

Child Bike Size Chart

Child Bike Size Chart
Feel free to save this chart for your reference. Right click or Hold down on the Image to save to your device

Your kid’s bike should have 1 to 3 inches of space between their crotch and the top bar.

Besides, the seat height must allow your child to ride the bike with a slight bend on the knee.

They must be able to lay their feet on the ground.

For a more detailed look at Bike Sizes, check out my article What Size Bike Do I Need.

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What Should You Wear Before Riding Your Bike?

Before you let your kid ride a bike, what they wear is also necessary to double-check. The things they must have are the following:

Kids Bike Helmet

Kids Bike Helmet

You’d be amazed that the U.S. created safety rules for wearing a bicycle helmet because of its significance in basic bicycle safety.

They won’t let a child ride a bike without a helmet that contains a sticker that says it has met the rules required by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Besides, wearing a properly-fitted helmet the right way can reduce the risk of head injuries by at least 45%, brain injuries by 33%, fatal injuries by 29%, and facial injuries by 27%.

So, make sure your child will always wear a helmet to protect the head, face, and brain if they suddenly fall while riding on the street. Here are other helmet safety tips to know more.

  • Make sure the helmet fits well.
  • You must help your child buckle the bike helmet tightly, but not too tight!
  • The helmet should sit on the child’s head comfortably.
  • The helmet must not be loose to prevent it from moving forward, backward, or side to side.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bike. Even on short rides!

Wear Brightly-Colored Clothes

I recommend kids wear brightly colored clothes so they can be easily seen by motorists and other cyclists.

It’s also a good idea to avoid wearing clothing that’s too loose because pants and other items can easily get caught in the chain

It’s a good idea to be aware of:

  • Pants that have loose or flared bottoms.
  • Untied shoelaces
  • Backpacks with long straps

Also, sandals, shoes with heels, cleats, flip-flops, and bicycle riding barefoot can be dangerous.

Your child won’t grip the pedals with this footwear, so it is best to wear sneakers when riding.

I also recommend kids not use headphones while biking.

That way they can what’s happening around them, like if a car or bike is coming up from behind.

Rules Of The Road For Bicycles

Rules Of The Road For Bicycles

To model good behavior, teach your kids these rules of the road.

  1. Make sure you stop at all stop signs and lights. Cyclists don’t always stop at stop signs, but to be safe they definitely should!
  2. Stay on bike paths and sidewalks whenever possible.
  3. When riding on roads always ride in the same direction as the traffic. Never ride against the flow of traffic!
  4. Don’t ride close to parked cars because they might suddenly open their doors.
  5. Keep a tight grip on the handlebars.
  6. Slow down when turning your bike.
  7. Always have your kids walk their bikes across intersections.
  8. Keep an eye out for potholes, wet leaves, cracks, and other road issues that could affect your balance.
  9. Ride in a straight line and never swerve between vehicles.
  10. Teach your kids to only ride during the day. Riding your bike after sundown is much more dangerous.

How To Signal Your Turn on Bicycle?

When turning left or right, teach your kids to use hand signals before turning. Give enough time between your signal and your turn so you give others time to see you and react.

  • Right turn – Signal a right turn by pointing your right arm straight out to the side.
  • Left turn – Signal a right turn by sticking your left arm out to the side and bending it up in an L shape.
  • Stop – Signal a stop by holding your left arm out to the side and making an L shape DOWN.

Frequently Asked Questions

2. Can You Ride Your Bike At Night?

It is best to not allow your kids to ride their bikes at night, but if they do ensure they ride on the sidewalk, use bike lights and wear brightly colored clothes.

3. What Age Can A Kid Ride A Bike?

Kids can start learning to ride from two years and up, but they need lots of supervision until the age of 7 or 8 years of age.


Most kids seem to be naturally born to ride bikes, and the fun they get out of riding is nothing short of awesome!

By giving your kids the right foundation, they will have the tools and info they need to keep safe along their way.

What’s Next…

If you enjoyed this article, go check out How To Teach A Child To Ride A Bike | Step-By-Step Guide

Happy Cycling!

About Informed Cyclist
Michael Rogers
I’m Michael, a cycling fanatic and the founder of Informed Cyclist. I started this site to give back to the sport I love! My mission is to bring the very best cycling advice & know-how to my readers. I hope you enjoy this site as much as I love working on it. I put a lot of heart & effort into it!

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