Now that you have had your baby, your inner cyclist is itching to bring him with you on every ride. There are several ways to bring your child with you, and one of them is via a bike seat. However, are bike seats actually safe? There are ways to help make your next bike outing safe, just read on.
It’s natural for parents to want to be with their children all the time; this is where a bike seat comes in handy and offers comfortable accommodation for your child. Child bike seats come in all sizes and shapes. Additionally, you can attach these child bike seats at the front, rear rack, and rear frame.
Consider the age and weight of your child before buying a child bike seat, because front mount seats are usually used for children who are younger than two years. Furthermore, each child bike seat has its own weight and age limitations.
The most commonly used bike seats are rear-mounted where the child sits behind the rider. Rear-mounted seats have their advantages, such as:
- These bike seats can support children up to six years of age
- The maximum weight limit for rear-mounted bike seats is up to 48 pounds
- Rear-mounted bike seats can recline
- Rear rack-mounted bike seats are very convenient to install and compatible with most bikes that have rear racks.
Let’s have a look at some safety precautions that you can take to keep your child safe during a ride.
Before you go on a ride, make sure that you follow a security protocol to ensure you and your child’s safety on the bike ride.
Secure attachment of a child bike seat
The secure attachment of a child bike seat plays a vital role in keeping your child safe. If you don’t install a child bike seat the right way, then every other safety precaution is useless. Therefore, make sure that you follow the correct and secure method of installation. Additionally, the safe installation of the bike seat can protect your child from falling out of it in case of a crash.
Everybody knows how vital a helmet is for your safety while riding a bike. Parents should only buy safe child helmets that meet the standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Such helmets are always labeled, so make sure that you check them thoroughly. Furthermore, all helmets that are manufactured after March 1999 must meet the safety requirements that are issued by the CPSC.
In addition to that, there are two types of helmets, hard-shell helmets, and soft-shell helmets. A helmet consists of a thick layer of firm polystyrene, plastic foam that absorbs the impact of the blow as the head hits the surface of the road. Additionally, a chin strap on the helmet makes sure that it stays in place during an accident.
Hard-shell helmets consist of a hard outer shell made from plastic or fiberglass, which works as a shield against sharp objects. Additionally, it keeps the inner polystyrene foam together incase the helmets cracks during a crash. Hard-shell helmets are a lot sturdier and reliable, but they are a little heavy and feel warm on the inside in comparison to soft-shell helmets.
On the other hand, soft-shell helmets do not contain a hard outer shell. These helmets consist of a very thick layer of polystyrene and a cloth or surface coating covers the foam. Additionally, the surface coating of a soft-shell helmet is a vital part as it keeps the polystyrene together if the helmet ever cracks during a fall or accident. In addition to that, soft-shell helmets are relatively lightweight but very durable in comparison to the hard-shell helmets.
Furthermore, both these types of helmets meet the safety standard of the CPSC.
How to fit a helmet the right way?
A helmet should fit the head of a person while covering the forehead. However, if it is loose on the head and keeps tipping back, then it is not the right fit. The right helmet won’t move around of slide down on your head when you hit a bump on the road. Furthermore, a chin strap makes sure that the helmet stays in the right place in case you crash or meet an accident.
In addition to that, if your helmet has been through severe damage, then it’s time to retire it and get a new one. That helmet has served its purpose, and keeping it is not safe at all.
Child bike seats come with a safety harness; it could be a three-point harness or a five-point harness. A safety harness enables you to strap your baby in the bike seat safely so that the child doesn’t lose his balance or falls from the bike seat if you hit a bump on the road. Furthermore, a five-point safety harness is the ideal choice as it goes over the shoulders of the kid, across the midsection of his body, and between the legs. This way, your child is safely strapped in and won’t budge no matter how bumpy the road is.
Footrests with restraints
Children tend to mess with things around them every chance they get. Therefore, leaving your child’s feet free without a safe footrest could be a considerable risk. Additionally, those tiny feet can cause a lot of trouble with only one kick to the handlebar. Furthermore, without safety restraints, you are also risking that your child’s feet may get caught in the wheel’s spokes.
Footrests on a child bike seat also ensure comfort and prevent your kid’s feet and knees from fatigue due to dangling. However, footrests with restraints can do a lot more than just providing support. They add to the safety of the child bike seat and keep those little feet safe.
Now that you have learned some safety precautions remember to follow them every time you go on a ride with your little passenger.
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