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January Tips of the Month: Bicycles

Wear a Helmet
The state of Florida requires anyone under the age of 16 to wear a helmet when riding a bike. Wearing a helmet is the best thing you can do to be safe when you ride a bike. Bicycle helmets save lives. Most bike deaths come from head injury. Bike helmets can prevent head injury.

A good fit is vital for a helmet to offer the best protection. Avoid buying an oversized helmet for your child to grow into. When selecting a helmet, have your child try on the size you think will fit and one size smaller. Select the smallest size that fits comfortably. Adjust your child's helmet so it fits snugly and correctly. The straps should be tight when the chinstrap is buckled. When correctly fitted, the helmet should be level on the head, with the front edge no more than one inch above the eyebrows. Have your child push up firmly on the front edge of the helmet with the heel of the hand. If the helmet moves backwards, you need to shorten the front straps.  Have your child grab the helmet by the rear edge and try to peel it off to the front. If it moves forward enough to cover your child's eyes, shorten the back straps without changing the length of the front straps. The chinstrap should be tight enough that when opening the mouth widely, your child can feel the helmet push down against the top of the head. Leaving a helmet in the car trunk on a hot day may cause the shell to shrivel or crack and the liner to come loose. Use only soap and water to clean the helmet. When purchasing a helmet look for the one or more of the following safety standards compliance labels indicating the helmet meets minimum requirements for impact absorption, strap integrity and resistance to rolling off:

See and be seen
Ride so cars can see you. Wear bright colors or clothes that reflect light at night so cars, buses, and trucks can see you. If you ride at night, get a headlight for the front of your bike and "reflectors" on the front and back of your bike.

Follow the rules
Bikes have to follow the same traffic rules as cars. You must ride in the same direction as the cars are going. Ride your bike in single-file. Signal when you want to stop or turn. Look out for holes, wet leaves, or cracks in the street. They can make you crash your bike. Ride away from the curb in case a car pulls out or someone opens a car door suddenly. Children under the age of nine should not be riding their bike in the street.

Important Links

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LMHS Home Page

Bikes have to follow the same traffic rules and signs as cars. You must ride in the same direction as the cars are going. Ride your bike single-file. Signal when you want to stop or turn. Look out for holes, wet leaves, or cracks in the street. They can make you crash your bike. Ride away from the curb in case a car pulls out or someone opens a car door suddenly. Children under the age of nine should not be riding their bike in the street.

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