Gear Up: The Must-Have Safety Accessories for Your Kid’s Bike
Riding a bike can be one of the greatest joys of childhood. As a parent, you want your child to experience that freedom and exhilaration. But you also want to make sure they are safe. The experts at Woom say that a lightweight bike for kids along with the right accessories can go a long way in keeping your child secure while cycling.
The most essential accessory is a proper-fitting helmet. For biking, look for a helmet certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). These will have a sticker inside indicating they meet federal safety standards.
You should replace helmets every five years or after any significant impact as the foam padding breaks down over time. Some companies also offer crash replacement discounts on new lids.
Being visible to drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists is crucial for safety. Bike lights make kids much more noticeable, especially at dawn, dusk, and night. Look for white LED lights for the front and red flashing LEDs for the rear. Handlebar mounts work well for the front light so it illuminates where the bike is headed. The rear light can attach to the seat post.
Lights that are USB rechargeable are convenient as you don’t have to deal with batteries. Also, consider adding reflectors on the wheels, pedals, and frame for even more visibility. Some helmets also have built-in blinking rear lights.
A sturdy bike lock is a must for deterring thieves looking to swipe your kid’s ride. U-locks provide better security than cable locks which can be easily cut. The lock should be long enough to secure both the frame and front wheel to a bike rack. Remind kids to always lock up when leaving their bikes unattended.
Water Bottle & Holder
Staying hydrated is key during physical activity like biking. Equip your kid’s ride with a water bottle cage and quality water bottle. Look for leak-proof designs made of durable materials like aluminum or BPA-free plastic. The cages typically mount to the bike frame near the handlebars for easy access while riding.
You can even find water bottles with special valves to make drinking on the go easier. Some automatically seal between sips so kids don’t have to keep screwing the lid on. Just remind them not to overfill bottles as water sloshing around can affect balance and handling.
A portable bike pump is great for maintaining proper tire pressure out on rides. Under-inflated tires increase rolling resistance, which makes pedaling harder. Low pressure also makes flats more likely.
Mini bike pumps often mount to the bike frame and are small enough to fit in a pocket. Make sure the pump is compatible with the tire valves on your child’s bike. Teach kids how to use the pump and check pressure so they can handle a flat on their own.
A phone mount provides a place to securely stow a phone while riding. This allows kids to use the GPS for navigation or access a phone in an emergency. Waterproof cases add further protection from rain and damage in a crash.
Look for mounts that position phones within easy reach near the handlebars. Removable designs also make it easy to snap a phone off the mount at stops. Just remind kids not to fiddle with their phones when riding – they need to keep their eyes on the road.
Of course, accessories are no substitute for teaching kids the rules of the road. They’ll need your guidance to learn traffic signs, navigation, dangers to watch for and more. But giving them the right gear helps ensure more secure, worry-free rides.