We live in a world full of new dangers for our children. There are the clear and present ones, from the dangers of abduction to terrorism to gun violence. There are the more distant ones, from poor education to addiction to technology, to isolation due to that same technology. There are the potential dangers of new diseases, economic collapse, and war.
With so much going on, it’s easy to forget about the old dangers that are still out there. For instance, how much do you worry about your child riding a bike?

Riding a bike is, in fact, as dangerous now as it was when you were a kid and your parents fretted over it constantly. There are the old issues with falling—the cuts and scrapes, the bruises, the potential broken bones—and there are the old issues with not looking where you’re going—cars coming, pedestrians, animals, other kids on bikes.

With so much that can go wrong, it’s important to keep up with the old safety tips you may have forgotten with all your modern worries. Just try to make sure to keep your kids aware of their bicycle safety.

For instance, simply wearing a helmet can do a great deal to minimize risk. Helmets protect the most precious part of our children: their brains. Wearing helmets also give the peace of mind that minor crashes and falls will probably only need to those bumps and bruises that heal quickly enough.

Another easy to follow fashion choice is to get your children to wear bright clothes. Bright clothes are fun, so they probably won’t protest, and wearing them means others can see your kids no matter how much light there is. A bright green shirt stands out whether its noon or midnight, and that can be the difference between a near crash with a car and a trip to the emergency room.

The other tips require you to teach your children right. Teach them to pay attention to their surroundings. Are they near a busy street? Are there others on the sidewalk? Is there a dog in the neighbor’s yard? Children don’t naturally look around them when they’re playing. They have to be taught to do so.

Also, teach them the rules of the road. Teach them the old signals for how to show they are turning and make sure they use them. Make sure they know which way the traffic is going. Make sure they know what different signs mean.

And, in particular, make sure they know what an intersection is and how to carefully and correctly cross it. Intersections present the greatest danger to children. It is best to make sure they avoid them completely. If that isn’t possible, teach them to cross in the safest possible way. If there are intersections with fewer cars a block or two up, make sure they go there.

These tips require only a little time and effort on your part, but they can literally save your child’s life. And once you’ve completed them, you can feel free to go back to your other modern worries.

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