Bicycle safety checklist

Published On: Mar 06 2014 09:38:07 PM EST
Updated On: Mar 07 2014 07:45:00 AM EST

If it's been a while since your child got on his or her bike, now's a good time for parents to do a few safety checks to make sure everything is road-ready.

Cleveland Clinic Children's Pediatrician Dr. Mike Macknin says your safety check should start with a look at the bike's height.

"Parents may have gotten a bike for Christmas that they want their child to grow into. You might want to think about that before you put a child on a bike where they can barely reach the pedals and have trouble stopping," explained Macknin.

The bike's frame should not be bent and the seat and handlebars need to be adjusted to the proper height.

You should also make sure the bike has reflectors on both the front and the back.

A chain guard to keep your child's pants from getting caught is a good idea too.

You also want to make sure their wheels don't wobble and that the tires are filled with enough air.

Macknin says that once you have the bike in tip-top shape, your child will need a good fitting helmet, too.

"You can tell it fits when it fits snugly and they can move their head around and it doesn't bounce around, even without the strap," he said.

Macknin says to look for a sticker from the Consumer Product Safety  Commission stating your child's helmet meets all federal safety standards.

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