Buy the Right Bike for Your Child!
A bike makes a great present for a child, but
the wrong size bike can cause a child to lose control of it and
be injured. Bicycle
accidents can be serious or even fatal. To avoid an accident,
- Do not push your child to ride a two-wheeled bike until the
child is about 5 or so and
is fully ready for it. Stick with coaster brakes until your
child is older and more
- Buy a bike that is the right size, not one your child has
to "grow into."
Bikes that are too big are dangerous.
- Take your child with you when you shop for the bike, so
that the child can try it out.
The value of a properly fitting bike far outweighs the value
of surprising your child with
a new bike.
- Test the bike for the right fit. This means that when your
child is sitting on the bike
seat with hands on the handlebar, your child must be able to
place the balls of both feet
on the ground. Your child should also be able to keep both
feet flat on the ground with
about a 1-inch clearance between the crotch and the bar while
straddling the center bar.
- If the child you are buying a bike for is an older child,
make sure the kid can reach
and grasp the handbrakes and easily apply enough pressure to
stop the bike.
- Consider a helmet as standard equipment for your child.
When buying your child a bike,
be sure the child has a helmet. (The helmet should be ANSI-or
- The bicycle racers in the U.S. Olympic development program
are required to wear a
helmet. Your child should, too. Riding bareheaded is not at
- And if you are riding with your child, you should be
wearing a helmet, too.
MedicineNet's recommendations are in line with those of the
American Academy of
For more, please visit Healthy KKids Center.Last Editorial Review: 10/25/2002