Home > Kids > Childhood Safety > Outdoor Safety > Buying the Right Bike for Your Child
|

Buying the Right Bike for Your Child

Gadget Guide

For maximum safety, equip your child's bike with a safety flag. Often used by adults who bike on busy roads, flags are also a good idea for young cyclists who aren't as visible to drivers, especially if bushes or other obstacles block the view. A warning bell is a another good safety gadget; teach your child to ring it when he's passing another cyclist, skater, or pedestrian on a bike path.

The typical 3-year-old can master a tricycle. When kids get to be about 5 or 6, they're usually ready—and anxious—to try a two-wheeler.

Although it's nice to surprise your child with a bike for his birthday, it's better to take him along to pick out one that fits him. Because bikes are expensive, it's tough to have to keep buying bigger ones as the child grows. For this reason, you might be tempted to buy a bike that's a little too big so your child can grow into it. This is a bad idea because a too-big bike is harder for the child to control. It's safer to keep him on his smaller one until he's big enough for the next size.

A good used bike may be a more cost-effective answer while your child is still growing. But if you buy a new one, don't necessarily go for one of the cheaper ones. A more expensive bike could actually save you money in the long run if it's more adjustable so your child can use it longer.

Proper Fit

Here's how to tell if a bike is the right size for your child:

  • When he sits on the seat with his hands on the handlebar, he should be able to place the balls of both feet on the ground.
  • When he straddles the top bar and puts both feet flat on the ground, he should have at least an inch of clearance between his crotch and the bar. (Obviously this is only for boys' bikes, which have such a bar.)
|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Child Safety © 2000 by Miriam Bacher Settle, Ph.D., and Susan Crites Price. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

thanksgiving crafts & recipes

Make this Turkey
Day fun for the
whole family with
these essentials.

GO

highlights

3 Fun Thanksgiving Games for Kids
Looking for some great Thanksgiving games to play with your kids? Print our free Pin the Feathers on the Turkey game, Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim game, and Thanksgiving Parade Bingo game for loads of laughs this Turkey Day!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Surprising Sources of Caffeine in Kids' Foods
Even low doses of caffeine can have an effect on your child's health. Since the FDA doesn't require caffeine content on food labels, learn about hidden sources of caffeine in kids' diets.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!