Your child and traffic: it sometimes provides stress. What’s in your power to make your child feel as safe as possible?
- Try to leave the car and go walking or cycling. So your child gains more traffic experience.
- Be ‘a gentleman in traffic’ and try to lead by example. Children learn a lot by watching the behavior of others and will imitate it eventually.
- Go out the door on time, it’s easier for you to observe traffic when not in a hurry.
- Cycle behind your child and discuss afterwards what well or went wrong.
- Is your child using a new bicycle route? Practice a few times together so your child knows what he or she must do in unsafe places.
- Encourage your child to take the safest route. This is not necessarily the shortest route! Explore the safe route(s) with your child(ren).
- Teach your child to always stand behind a bus or truck stand at a traffic light, never next to it. This will prevent your child from entering the dangerous blind spot.
- If you sit in the car together, look at the effect of cyclists without lights. Also talk about what you encounter along the way.
- Provide a safe bike. Regularly check brakes and light.
- Regularly brush-up on the traffic rules with your child.
Road Safety the Netherlands (Veilig Verkeer Nederland) provides the following tips:
- Always buy a bike that fits the length of your child. Buying a bike that is to large is not smart, because a large bike makes child is uncertain. Moreover, it is dangerous, because the child should be able to reach the ground with his feet flat.
- The safest bike has two types of brakes. A back pedal brake and a hand brake. Not every child has enough strength to kick back and / or has the motor skills needed for a handbrake. If you opt for one type of brake then a back pedal the best option.
- Does your child need training wheels? Let them be adjusted in the store so that they do not touch the ground when driving. That way they learn to ride on two wheels quickly. It varies per child how long training wheels are required.
- Provide lights and reflectors on the rear fender and the pedals.
- Bicycles with wheels of 20 inches (50.8 centimeters) and smaller fall under the regulations for toys and therefore are not checked for the safety standards for bicycles. Check by yourself if you think the bike is decent.
- Install a long pole with a flag on the bike. A cycling toddler is sometimes overlooked.