BICYCLES, SKATEBOARDS, SCOOTERS, ROLLERBLADES AND OTHER ‘PEDESTRIAN CONVEYANCES’ ARE GREAT FUN FOR KIDS.
They provide a great way for children to exercise, get outside and learn, whilst helping them to develop independence, confidence and vital balance and gross motor skills. However, it is important to remember that bicycles and other pedestrian conveyances are not toys but rather vehicles that children use in public spaces, near or on roads.
In 2010-2011 across Australia, there were a recorded 2,727 cases of falls from pedestrian conveyance devices such as skateboards and scooters in those aged 5 - 14 years. In South Australia alone, hundreds of young children are treated in hospital each year for injuries involving bicycles and other pedestrian conveyances. Most cycling injuries occur when a child falls from their bike after crashing into a pole, gutter or fence. With smaller wheeled devices where braking mechanisms lack, most falls result when a child loses control.
SAFETY IS SIMPLE
- Avoid poorly made or damaged products
- Use protective equipment - always use a well fitted helmet. Elbow and knee pads are also a good idea for rollerblades and scooters.
- Use items that increase visibility to road users, pedestrians and vehicles
- Only ride during daylight hours
- Ensure supervised riding
- Make sure your child is taught road rules for safe riding practices.
- Know the dangers of the driveway. Children should be taught that the driveway is dangerous. They should not be encouraged to ride their bikes in the driveway.