Bicycling has become extremely popular in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention it is estimated that 66.9 million Americans ride bicycles. Of that number, more than 33 million are children. But each year, at least 500,000 bicyclists are seen in hospital emergency rooms.
Of course, being concerned parents, we all know the basics of bicycle safety:
• Always wear a helmet;
• Always wear bright neon clothing or reflectors;
• Check tire pressure and brakes prior to riding;
• Adjust the seat so that there’s 1 to 2 inches between you and the top tube bar, and, if riding a mountain bike, 3 to 4 inches;
• Keep both hands on the handle bars;
• Ride with traffic following all traffic laws;
• Avoid riding at night.
However, there is more to bicycling safely than those bicycle safety rules.
Learn to Ride Defensively
At the website, www.bicyclesafe.com, you will find “10 Ways to Not Get Hit.” Each collision type is illustrated with pictures and practical tips on how to avoid this type of collision. The fact is, knowing the laws of bicycling will not help you avoid getting hit by a car.
As this website so aptly states, “Don’t fall for the myth that wearing a helmet is the first and last word in biking safety. In truth, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s better to not get hit. That’s what real bicycle safety is about.”
The Chiropractic Factor
Clearly there’s more to bicycle safety than knowing the rules of the road and using the right equipment. Then again, teaching your family to ride defensively and making sure to avoid collisions doesn’t guarantee that your child isn’t going to lose their balance and have their own accident on their bike. When this happens it’s important to know what to do.
Even though you pick your child up and dust them off, it still may have resulted in more than just a skinned knee or a scraped elbow. In the accident, they may have strained their spine, creating nerve interference that could result in a lack of expression of wellness. That’s why you should take your child to your Family Wellness Chiropractor after any incident on a bicycle.