Dalton Police Officers assisted with a bicycle rodeo on May 17 at Brookwood School. The rodeo was one of a succession of events with the Safe Routes To School program underway at Brookwood, and coordinated by Principal Will Esters. The officers helped instruct the children on safe bicycle riding and basic skills.
In addition to instruction during the event, officers offer the following safety tips:
- Always wear a helmet - This is the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes. Make it a rule that every time your child rides a bike, to wear a helmet. This is not only for the child but for the adult as well. Set the example for your child by wearing a helmet as well. Be sure the helmet meets or exceeds the safety standards developed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Make sure the helmet fits correctly - Helmet fit is important. It should be comfortable and snug, but not too tight. It should sit centered on top of the head in a level position, and it should not rock forward and backward or side to side. And, the helmet straps must always be buckled snugly against the chin.
- Proper bicycle fit - Buy a bicycle that is the right size for the child not one he or she will grow into. When sitting on the bicycle, the child's feet should touch the ground.
- Bicycle Maintenance - Make sure the reflectors are secure, the brakes work properly, gears shift smoothly, the chain is not too loose, and the tires are tightly secured and properly inflated.
- Teach and obey all traffic rules of the road - Ride with traffic not against it and stay as far on the right side of the road as possible. Always use caution when crossing the road looking both ways several times to ensure no vehicles are approaching. No child below the age of 10 should be allowed to ride on the highways. These children should be restricted to sidewalks and closed roadways or parks
- Don't ride at night - Don't allow your children to ride their bicycle at night. The danger is too great since the ability of others to see your child becomes difficult. Even if the child is riding in the yard at night, they may hit an obstacle causing them to crash and injury themselves.
- Dress for Safety - Besides the helmet, children should wear clothing that protects them in case of a fall. Also, the clothing should be light colored and include reflective materials if possible to improve visibility to motorists, especially if riding at dusk or dawn.