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Heads Up on Cycling Safety

Cycling is in season, and it's an excellent way to have fun and be active!

Before your family members get on their bikes, be sure to consider ways to reduce the risk of injury.

Here are some cycling safety tips to help ensure everyone enjoys the ride:

Protect children's heads by getting them to wear bike helmets on any wheeled item, whether it is a bike, scooter or skateboard. This is important from the time children start to ride their tricycle or a bike with training wheels. A properly-fitted and correctly-worn bike helmet can make a dramatic difference, cutting the risk of serious head injuries by up to 80 per cent (Parachute Canada). To ensure a child's helmet fits right, follow the '2V1 Rule'.

Check the ride. For children, a fun, safe cycling experience starts with a properly-equipped bike. Ensure bikes are adjusted to the recommended height for the rider, tires are inflated, and brakes are in good working order. Bikes should also have proper reflectors and lights.

Be prepared. Get trained in bicycle safety and rules of the road. Use appropriate hand signals and obey all traffic signs.

Supervise children under the age of nine years. Because children do not yet have the cognitive ability to judge distance and the speed of traffic, they should be supervised by an adult whenever riding a bicycle.

Stick to sidewalks. Sidewalks are the best -- and safest place -- for young children to ride a bike. For youth over 14 years of age, designated cycling lanes are the best place for riding

Make the 'right' choice. Tell children who are old enough to ride on the road to stick to the right side -- the same direction as traffic is going -- and stay as far right as possible. 

Use your bell. Ensure bikes are equipped with a bell to announce when passing. If not, use your voice.

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