Safe cycling tips for kids

Bike bell
When your child is ready to cycle unsupervised, it’s important to make sure they know how to be safe on the roads. Here are the steps you need to take.

All young people should undertake a cycling training course before cycling on the roads by themselves. Experts recommend a minimum age of ten years for on-road cycle training courses – below this age children are less likely to be able to successfully cope with the joint tasks of managing a bicycle and negotiating traffic situations. To find out more about cycling courses for your child, log on to www.bikeability.org.uk.

Top safe cycling tips

  • Ensure children wear a cycle helmet
  • Young cyclists should always wear light-coloured, fluorescent and reflective clothing to help them to be seen, as well as having lights on their bike
  • Investigate the density of the traffic and any problems on the route before considering letting your child out unsupervised
  • Before they set off, travel the route with them a few times so that they are confident and familiar with where they’ll be going. You may wish to cycle behind them for a few weeks to build their confidence
  • Accidents do happen and it’s important to be prepared, so ensure your child is able to respond in an emergency. Make sure they know how to make a 999 call, are aware of their home telephone number and know their own address
  • There is safety in numbers, so where possible ensure your child has a cycling ‘buddy’ whenever they’re out, such as a friend or older sibling
  • As well as being road safe, it’s a good idea to ensure your child knows how to respond to other risks – meeting strangers or getting lost, for example. Perhaps give them a mobile phone so they can get in touch if they run into trouble
  • If your child is cycling to a friend’s house, let another adult know and give them an idea of when they can expect your child to arrive