A balance bike gives your young child mobility and speed – providing them with independence, an ability to explore and discover as well as develop motor skills. But this mobility and speed can also put them at risk – they need your help to keep them safe”.

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.
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Tip One – Wear a Bike Helmet

This is a bike, so they must wear a bike helmet. A helmet that fits and is adjusted to fit their head. Check out the How to Size & Fit a Kids Bike Helmet & our Kids Bike Helmet Buying Guide

Tip Two – The right sized Balance Bike

The Balance Bike relies on the kids propelling and stopping the bike using their feet (rather than pedals). Therefore it is very important that the bike is the correct size. When sitting on the seat a child needs to be able to touch the ground and have a slight bend at their knees. This will help them be effecient with their leg movement and makes sure they can slow the momentum of the bike and stop using their feet.

Tip Three – Let them learn in appropriate environments and terrain

Where you ride is vitally important to their safety. Some things to remember.

As they are generally relying on their feet to propel and stop the balance bike the environment should be

  • the ground relatively flat?
  • If there is a slope – is there a safe, flat slow down area?
  • able to stop safely using their feet

Safe environments to consider using; tar sealed areas in schools, tennis courts, walkways, cycleways and some or parts of pump tracks.

Some balance bikes do come with a hand brake however even if it does have a braking mechanism are they old enough to use it? Generally they don’t develop this skill until they are at least 3 and been riding a balance bike for a period of time.

Tip Four – If they are near or around vehicles they must be:

  • Supervised. Consider your ability to supervise? Do you have other children to watch over? Will or could you be distracted?  Is your mobility affected by a buggy or carrying equipment or another child. Consider the child on the bike? How fast can they go? Can you keep up, if you needed to? How well do they respond to verbal instruction, like STOP? You will need to evaluate the situation, each situation will be different, each child will be different and assess whether it is safe to ride in ‘this environment’.
  • Visible. Your child is small and fast on a balance bike making them difficult to see. Make sure that vehicles are given the best chance to see them. They are particularly vulnerable when riding on footpaths and their size means they often will be out of the vision of a driver backing out of or into a driveway.
    • Make them be seen by giving them height – use a flag. Make them visible to the driver., Have your child in bright visible clothing with a bright visible helmet on their head.
  • Being Heard may also help. mini hornit is a fun and loud horn that can help children let others know they are here, that they are coming. A horn can initially be a distraction – the 25 sounds are super fun, so why wouldn’t they use it lots. Give them time to overcome the distraction in a safe environment and then that horn will be functional as well as fun.

Tip Five – Wear footwear

The child uses their feet to both propel, slow down and stop on a balance bike. The child should therefore be wearing closed in shoes.  You may want to consider teaching them ways to stop without wrecking their shoes if this is important or have designated balance bike shoes. ( that you don’t mind being scuffed etc)

Note:learning to use their legs and feet on a balance bike helps teach children the important safety skill of putting their feet down when they lose balance on a bike.

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