Parents have a huge part to play in influencing our next generation of road users. If you are reading this, that probably means you care about the safety of your child and want the best for them.
A helmet should be worn while doing any adventure activity. Cycling, scootering, or rock climbing. Your child’s helmet needs to be the right type for the activity.
A helmet should be the right size and shape for you child’s head right now. Heads grow slow, so make sure it fits now. It should be a snug fit, even before you have done up the straps.
If you are looking at getting another bike for your child, think quality. You can find great bikes that are pre-loved. You can always put a new seat or other part onto the bike. Don’t buy a huge bike just so they can use it when they are twenty.
In New Zealand, bikes need a few things by law. They need a red rear reflector, good brakes front and back, good tyres, and they need reflectors on the pedals.
Just grab the spray lubricant and get those parts and brakes moving again. Don’t get it on the wheels or brake pads. Keep those tyres pumped up at the service station to the amount allowed, as written on the side of the tyre. This makes cycling more fun and you get less punctures.
In New Zealand, if bike wheels are around 35 cm in diameter or less, kids are legally allowed to ride on the footpath. Therefore anything larger needs to be ridden on the road, leaving the footpaths for pedestrians. The problem is when your young child is riding a larger bike. If they need to go on the footpath for their own safety, they will need to slow down and give way to all pedestrians and sneaky driveways.
Good shoes should always be worn on bikes and scooters. Scooter brakes heat up a lot and will burn your child’s foot if good shoes are not worn.
A new helmet, cycle gloves, sunglasses, a bell or a bright shirt.
Let’s use the back seat first for our kids. BUT – Remember that the lap belt is not a very safe option. You could use an H harness with the lap belt to make it safe. Consider using the front seat for the older kids and moving the front seat back as far as it goes to stay away from any airbags.
Booster seats or booster pads are designed to do three things: they keep the seat belt across the shoulder; keep the belt across the hips, not the tummy and they let the knees bend nicely. Your kids should be using some form of booster until they are about 148 cms in height.
Your beautiful child should never get out of the car onto the roadway. Even if they need to climb over something, they should always get out onto the footpath side.
Always wait for your young child on the school side of the street. Children have been hurt and killed while crossing the road looking at their parent.
You must not stop on yellow lines. Yellow lines are No-Stopping lines. These have been put on the road to keep everyone safe. In New Zealand the fine is $60 for stopping on yellow lines, even to drop off or pick up.
The law says you cannot park in any driveway outside the boundary of your property. You cannot obstruct the footpath. You cannot park over any driveway including your own. In New Zealand the fine is $40 for any of these offences.
The most dangerous times for children near roads includes rushing into the school grounds in the morning and even more so as they are leaving school. They are often running, not taking notice of the traffic and, generally, it is difficult to predict what they will do next.
Parents have the power to keep cars further away from schools, to keep everyone safe. We should be looking at how we are doing things and we should take the time to do things right… for the sake of our kids’ safety.