Bicycle safety for kids

Unfortunately, cyclists are still the stepchildren of road traffic, because in many cities in Germany there are no safe bike lanes. Denmark, for example, is now far ahead of us when it comes to safety on bicycles.

If you are riding a bicycle with children, you should know certain rules. Up to the age of eight, children are required to ride on the sidewalk, as they are not yet aware of potential dangers in traffic. Children are then allowed to use the sidewalk until they are ten years old.

A supervisor who is at least 16 years old may ride with children on the sidewalk. If the sidewalk is used before crossing a roadway, children and adults must get off their bikes and push the bike. Parents should not allow their children to participate in traffic alone on bicycles until they have passed the school bicycle test, which takes place in the third or fourth grade, depending on the state.

Carriage of children on child seats and in trailers

People over the age of 16 may take children on a child seat or in a trailer. If the child is still very small and weighs less than 15 kilograms, it may ride in a seat in front. If the child weighs more than 15 kilograms, it is allowed to ride in a child seat on the luggage carrier. However, these child seats should be attached to the bicycle by an expert. The child must be secured later with well-fitting straps. Protective devices are required to protect the feet so that they do not get into the spokes. A maximum of two children up to seven years of age may ride in a trailer. When buying, be sure to pay attention to the maximum weight specified by the manufacturer.

Bicycle helmet for children: what to consider for parents

The use of a helmet does not protect against bicycle accidents, but it is essential for the safety of children on bicycles, as it prevents serious head injuries. To ensure the required safety, the helmet must fit well and fit the individual head shape of the child. Nothing must pinch or cut in, because the child is guaranteed not to want or be able to wear the helmet that way. A tight, comfortable fit is also important. If the child falls, the helmet must be replaced, even if no external damage is apparent. This is because even the smallest internal structural damage can impair the protective effect of the helmet.

To ensure that the child is clearly visible in the dark, the helmet should be equipped with reflectors or LED light. You can support visibility with eye-catching bright and luminous helmet decors. These also prevent the helmet from heating up in the sunshine.

Safe equipment for the child bike

It is important to have a safely equipped children's bike so that the child is always safe on the road.

Furthermore, the children's bike should have a red taillight with reflector and an additional red reflector under the saddle. It is also important to have a bell with a bright sound. The bike must fit the size of the child, so that he can ride comfortably while sitting. When choosing, make sure that the child can operate the handlebars while sitting upright and can stand on the saddle with both feet on the ground.

The basic equipment includes:

• smooth hand or disc brakes,

• smooth and powerful dynamo or lighting system with battery operation for headlight and taillight,

• Halogen headlights and protected light cables,

• Shift lever on the handlebar,

• Spoke reflectors or luminous strips on the tires.

The free guidebook „Fahrradsicherheit: Das Zweirad im urbanen Raum" provides tips for bicycle safety. One chapter is dedicated to bicycle safety for and with children. Author Julia Fohmann gives information on where children are allowed to ride and what supervisors need to be aware of.