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Bike Safety

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Bicycling is a great way for kids to stay active and have fun outdoors!  Following just a few basic safety rules will ensure that you and your family are riding safely.

Take the Helmet Fit Test

Akron Children's Hospital recommends that every member of your family wears a helmet for every ride.  More children ages 5 to 14 are seen in ERs for injuries related to biking than any other sport, and helmets can reduce the risk of severe head injuries by 88 percent.  Kids are more likely to wear helmets if their parents wear a helmet themselves.  Not only is helmet wearing a safe way to keep your kids safe--it's the law!  In the City of Akron every child under age 16 is required to wear a bicycle helmet. 

Use the Helmet Fit Test to be sure that your helmet is keeping you as safe as possible. Follow these steps to make sure your helmet is properly fitted.

  1. The helmet should sit low on your head to protect your brain. You should only have 2 finger widths between your eyebrows and the helmet.
  2. Buckle the helmet. The straps should form a triangle around your ears.
  3. Check  the tightness. When you open your mouth, the helmet should feel snug. Tighten the straps if they feel loose.

Give Your Bike A Check-Up

Check out this video to learn how to test your bike for safety with the "ABC Quick Check."

Air. Make sure you have enough air pressure in your tires. The tires should be firm when you give them a squeeze.

Brakes. Check your hand brakes to make sure the brakes work properly, and the brake pads are lined up with the tire.

Chain and Crank. Pull on your chain and crank to make sure they are not loose, and that the chain is not rusted and free of mud and dirt.

Related Resources

Repair Broken Bikes

If your child's bike has major damage, most bicycle shops offer repair services.

Public bike fix-it stations can be found all along the Ohio Erie Canalway at the following locations:

  • Summit Lake – along Towpath
  • Park East – along Towpath
  • Richard Howe House – along Towpath
  • Lock 3 – along Towpath connection
  • Mustill Store – along Towpath
  • Northside Station – on Towpath connector trail
  • Rubber Ducks Stadium - on Main St.
  • Summit County Library – Downtown branch
  • Akron Zoo
  • Metro Bus Terminal
  • University of Akron - South Campus Parking Deck (Lot 36)

Road vs. Sidewalk

All children ages 12 years old and under should ride their bicycles on the sidewalk. Children under 10 years old are unable to judge the speed of traffic, which puts them at high risk of danger on the road. Before allowing older children to ride on the road, teach them about bike safety and road signaling.