Bicycles are an ideal mode of transportation for short trips. In addition, cycling is also healthy for the body. Cycling is a hobby that is often difficult to leave. But if you have babies or toddlers, dare you to ride them and ride together?
Many parents are hesitant to take their baby or toddler on a bicycle. No matter how confident you are of your cycling skills, there are many risk factors that can be difficult to control on the road.
To ride a bicycle with babies and toddlers is risky, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done at all. So that you can safely and confidently bring your baby or toddler on a bike ride, check out the important rules below.
Until now, there are no official rules when children can ride a bicycle with their parents. One thing is for sure when you want to take a child on a bike, make sure he is strong enough and able to sit up straight without assistance. Also, make sure that your child is able not to lean back long enough.
If your child’s neck and back are not strong enough to support his body, do not ride on him. Because, when sitting in a pillion chair, he must be able to hold his back and neck so as not to fall.
Usually, a baby’s bone and muscle development are quite good by the age of one year. One-year-old babies are generally able to control their muscles and reflexes when sitting upright on the pillion. However, you should also assess your baby’s abilities and development yourself.
Apart from the immature development of the bones and muscles of the baby, no helmet is designed for children under one year of age. The head circumference of babies under twelve months of age usually measures approximately 40 centimeters. Meanwhile, the smallest helmet size can only be used for children with a head circumference of 46 centimeters. Helmet sizes that do not fit can injure the heads of babies and toddlers.
If your baby or toddler is old enough and ready to ride on a bicycle, pay attention to the following things so that your trip and your little one remain safe and comfortable.
Regardless of age, always wear a helmet that matches the shape and size of the child’s head. As a role model, you should also wear a helmet to avoid the risk of injury. Before leaving, make sure the helmet is properly attached and comfortable. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of injury to the head by 88%.
Don’t rely on the pillion that comes with your bike. Look for pillion for babies and toddlers that have backrests and footrests. That way, your child won’t fall and their feet won’t hit the bike. There are many options currently available, both designed to be placed at the front and behind the bicycle. You can choose according to the comfort and needs of the baby.
When piggybacking on babies and toddlers, make sure that you are good at cycling yourself, are confident enough, and don’t panic easily. Therefore, you should not let 12-year-olds or teenagers piggyback on your child. In most cases, children and adolescents do not have perfect reflexes and coordination, even though they are used to riding a bicycle too.
Avoid busy roads, cobbled roads that are slippery or rough, routes that are hilly, or routes with lots of curves. Also make sure that you are still riding in the correct lane, not too centered. If your baby or toddler is easily fussy, you should also avoid cycling too far.
Although street lighting is helpful in your neighborhood, it’s best not to take the risk. The reason is, even though you can see the road clearly, other riders or road users may not see your bike. Babies and toddlers also tend to be moodier at night because they are tired.
Riding a bicycle with a gentle breeze can make children sleepy. If you fall asleep, your child can easily bump or fall. So, try to get the children to talk or sing so they don’t get sleepy. Cycling together can also be a good opportunity to build communication with your little one.