Celebrate Walk to School Day on Oct. 2, 2019
Join communities across the world for International Walk to School Day on October 2!
Celebrate Bike to School Day on May 6, 2020
The first-ever National Bike to School Day took place in May, 2012, in coordination with the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Month. Almost 1,000 local events in 49 states and the District of Columbia joined together to encourage children to safely cycle or walk to school.
The event builds on the popularity of Walk to School Day, which is celebrated across the country – and the world – each October. Many communities and schools have been holding spring walk and bicycle to school events for years. National Bike to School Day provides an opportunity for schools across the country to join together to celebrate and to build off of the energy of National Bike Month.
Advocacy for Safe (and Healthy) Routes to School
Walk and Bike to School Day events have transformed from a one-day celebration to long-term efforts to create places where children have more opportunities for physical activity, and everyone feels a little more connected. The Glebe Elementary School PTA welcomes any additional initiatives around these days to scrutinize our children’s routes to school and how to make them safer. These events can help us to raise community awareness and keep the journey to school as safe as possible.
We would love to have a parent help us plan additional event(s) and information to be presented to the school on these days! There are more details and ideas about how to do that at the national website. Please contact us if this is something you would love to do. In past years, parents have organized groups of kids who walked or biked to school together.
And Don’t Forget Your Helmet!
Here are some additional Bike Safety Tips from Safe Kids Worldwide.
BIKE SAFETY TIPS
Wear a Helmet
- We have a simple saying: “Use your head, wear a helmet.” It is the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes.
Find the Right Helmet Fit
- Make sure your child has the right size helmet and wears it every time when riding, skating or scooting. Your children’s helmet should meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) standards. When it’s time to buy a new helmet, let your children pick out their own; they’ll be more likely to wear them for every ride.
- Make sure the helmet fits and your child knows how to put it on correctly. A helmet should sit on top of the head in a level position, and should not rock forward, backward or side to side. The helmet straps must always be buckled, but not too tightly. Safe Kids recommends kids take the Helmet Fit Test
- EYES check: Position the helmet on your head. Look up and you should see the bottom rim of the helmet. The rim should be one to two finger-widths above the eyebrows.
- EARS check: Make sure the straps of the helmet form a “V” under your ears when buckled. The strap should be snug but comfortable.
- MOUTH check: Open your mouth as wide as you can. Do you feel the helmet hug your head? If not, tighten those straps and make sure the buckle is flat against your skin.
Use Appropriate Helmets for Different Activities
- Children should always wear a helmet for all wheeled sports activities.
- A properly-fitted bike helmet is just as effective when riding a scooter, roller skating or in-line skating.
- When skateboarding and long boarding, make sure your child wears a CPSC certified skateboarding helmet.
Proper Equipment and Maintenance Are Important
- Ensure proper bike fit by bringing the child along when shopping for a bike. Select one that is the right size for the child, not one he or she will grow into.
- When children are sitting on the seat of the bicycle, their feet should be able to touch the ground.
- Before the ride, make sure the reflectors are secure, brakes work properly, gears shift smoothly, and tires are tightly secured and properly inflated.
- Long or loose clothing can get caught in bike chains or wheel spokes. Dress young kids appropriately to ensure a safe ride.
Keep an Eye Out
- Actively supervise children until you’re comfortable that they are responsible to ride on their own.
- Every child is different, but developmentally, it can be hard for kids to judge speed and distance of cars until age 10, so limit riding to sidewalks (although be careful for vehicles in driveways), parks or bike paths until age 10. No matter where you ride, teach your child to stay alert and watch for cars and trucks.
- Children should be able to demonstrate riding competence and knowledge of the rules of the road before cycling with traffic.
Model and Teach Good Behavior
- You’d be surprised how much kids learn from watching you, so it’s important for parents to model proper behavior. Wear a helmet, even if you didn’t when you were a kid.
- Teach your kids to make eye contact with drivers. Bikers should make sure drivers are paying attention and are going to stop before they cross the street.
- Tell your kids to ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against it. Stay as far to the right as possible. Use appropriate hand signals and respect traffic signals, stopping at all stop signs and stoplights. Be predictable when riding.
- Stop and look left, right and left again before entering a street or crossing an intersection. Look back and yield to traffic coming from behind before turning left.
Be Bright, Use Lights
- When riding at dusk, dawn or in the evening, be bright and use lights – and make sure your bike has reflectors as well. It’s also smart to wear clothes and accessories that have retro-reflective materials to improve biker visibility to motorists.
- Most states require a front light but allow the use of a rear reflector. Headlights aren’t so much for bicyclists to see where they are going but for others to see them. Riding without a headlight means drivers won’t see you, and surprising motorists is never a good idea.