Transcript: Hi and welcome to Sign Baby Sign (SBS). This week’s word is for outdoor playtime. The word is BIKE. It is signed by taking your “A” or “S” hands; I use my “S” hands. Then act as though your feet are on the pedals moving along.
4 Keys of How to Buy a Kid’s Bike
- Size Matters: The size of the bicycle is the most important consideration when buying a bike.
Have your child sit on the seat and check if his legs can reach the ground without straining or stretching. There should also be approximately 1 inch clearance from the center bar and crotch area while straddling the bike. Next, check if one foot can be on the ground while both hands are placed on the handlebar. If the position is comfortable, then the bicycle size is correct.
For the older child, it’s a good idea to consider bikes that are fitted with front and back brakes. The child should be able to reach out for the brakes while seated.
- Weight Matters: If the bike feels heavy to you, imagine how heavy it would be for the child to handle, balance, and maneuver. Lighter bicycles may be more expensive, so if you have the extra budget, a lighter bike will help your child on take off and overall confidence.
- Training Wheels: Consider investing in a pair of training wheels to help them get started. A good rule of thumb is to buy the ones that are adjustable so that you can move them higher as your child gets better to give them sense of balance while still having the support of the training wheels.
When to remove training wheels: As confidence in balance develops and the child agrees, take them off and be ready to run several laps along side of the bike, giving praise such as “You are doing it!” A starting age to transfer from trainers to two wheels is 5 years of age. Be willing to put them back on and try again at a later date. Remember never push your child. The point is to “enjoy the ride”.
- Helmets are a must. I was never one to reinforce wearing a helmet until I sat countless hours in ICU with a child enjoying the day on his bike, when a parked car door suddenly opened sending the bicycle and child to a tragic fall.