Every kid loves the sense of freedom that only a bike ride can offer. Whether pedaling to a friend’s house, wandering the neighborhood, or practicing tricks, a bike can offer your kids hours of entertainment (without involving a screen).
Unfortunately, we’re also aware of how much danger a bike accident can pose. Accidents can range from flying over the handlebars after a sudden stop or hitting a car to wiping out when trying a jump or riding a difficult trail.
So today, read up here on best safety practices to avoid these accidents, and to learn what steps to take if an accident does happen.
Preventing a Florida Bike Accident
The very best practice for safe riding is by taking measures to prevent an accident in the first place. Two easy steps you can take:
- Make sure your child has a helmet that fits properly, and that it’s worn any time your child rides the bike.
- Make sure the bike is an appropriate size for your kid’s height, age, and riding ability.
Once you’ve got all the equipment right, it’s time to educate your child on bike safety.
Educate Your Child on Bike Safety
Make sure that your child knows to be aware of his surroundings when riding his bike. He should watch for cars and know how to use appropriate hand signals if riding his bike in the road.
It might be a good idea to have a handful of agreed-upon areas that you are comfortable with him riding his bike in.
If your child plans to ride his bike in or near the road, be sure he knows what to do if he’s injured by a vehicle. This means collecting the driver’s name, phone number, and insurance information.
What to Do After Your Child’s Had a Bike Accident in Florida
After an accident, be sure to immediately check for injuries. Look for blood, broken bones, and head injuries. Ice any sore muscles, and keep a first aid kit handy.
Whatever You Do, Don’t Panic
When your child sees you upset, it will only scare your child more. We often hear of children who wind up thinking their injuries are worse than they are because of it.
Stay calm, and ask your child open-ended questions about how they are feeling after the accident. You need your mind clear so that you can remember what they’re telling you in case you wind up in a doctor’s office.
Once an initial assessment is good, keep an eye on your patient over the next few days.
Watch for Signs of Concussion
If your child fell off his bike or was hit and knocked to the ground, you will definitely want to watch for signs of concussion. These signs include, but are not limited to:
- Memory loss
- Speaking slowly
- Appears dazed, acting confused
- Loses consciousness
- Dizziness, blurry vision
- Being bothered by light or noise
If your child is showing any of these signs, even if you think they didn’t fall that hard, you should seek medical attention right away.
Don’t Let This Ruin the Fun of Biking for Them
If your child enjoys riding his bike, you’ll want to make sure this unfortunate accident doesn’t ruin the activity for him for good. Keep biking in a positive light, and encourage him to try it again when he’s ready.
In some situations, a child may need to seek counseling or other professional help if the accident was particularly traumatic. Listen to what your kid needs, and be responsive and encouraging.
Whether it’s riding a bike to school on a regular basis, competitive riding, or just occasionally joyrides friends, it can be a fun and healthy activity for years to come.
So make sure both you and your child are aware of the important steps to take after an injury caused by a bike accident.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.