Child Safety: Bicycles and Tricycles
If you are biking with a baby or young child, the following suggestions can help you minimize the risk of injury:
- Don't put your child in a bike seat before they are ready.
Children younger than 1 year should not ride in any type of seat mounted on your bicycle. Before sitting in a rear-mounted seat, your child must sit well without support and be able to wear a lightweight helmet. These types of child carriers must:
- Attach securely over the rear wheel.
- Have spoke guards so your child's hands and feet will not get caught in the wheels.
- Have a secure shoulder harness, lap belt, and a high back. A child should be able to fall asleep and be well supported.
- Put a helmet on your child even when they are in a bike trailer.
If you are using a trailer seat, always have your child wear a lightweight infant bike helmet.
- Be careful where you ride.
Do not ride with your child on busy streets, even where there is a bike lane. Try to ride in bicycle-only areas, such as recreational paths.
- Do not ride with your child during bad weather.
- Never carry infants in backpacks or front packs on a bike.
Riding tricycles safely
Help make riding tricycles safer by following these tips.
- Don't put your child on a tricycle until they are ready.
A child doesn't have the basic coordination to ride it safely until about age 3.
- Make sure the tricycle that you try is solidly constructed and the right size for your child. (Your child should be able to pedal while sitting squarely on the seat.)
- Watch your child closely while they ride.
Do not allow your child to ride in areas that are close to cars, swimming pools, or other hazards.
- Have your child wear a bike helmet every time they ride.
Current as of: September 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine