UH News

UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Greater Cleveland Celebrate Bike to School Month

Monday, May 4, 2015

During the month of May, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, as lead agency for Safe Kids Greater Cleveland, will join with schools throughout Greater Cleveland in celebration of Bike to School Month. Local schools will celebrate Bike to School Week events during May 4-8. These events bring together children, parents and educators to raise awareness about bike safety and to promote biking to school.

In the weeks leading up to Bike to School Week, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital hosted a bicycle safety poster contest which encouraged students in grades K-3 to let their creativity fly and make a poster to promote our Bike to School Week program. Twelve local children participated and two winners were chosen. The winners are Sarah, a first grader from Madison Avenue Elementary in Painesville, and James, a second grader at St. Angela Merici in Fairview Park. Their posters were used in toolkits provided to Greater Cleveland schools that are hosting the Bike to School Week Events. Each of the winners also received a new bicycle and a bicycle helmet.

One of the main goals of the UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Bike to School program is to show that biking can be a fun way to get exercise and protect the environment, while highlighting important bike safety information, like following the rules of the road and wearing a helmet.

“It’s important for bicyclists to wear properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they ride. A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle fall or crash,” said Mandy Nagle, Coordinator of Safe Kids Greater Cleveland at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. “Families should make it a rule for everyone in the family to wear a helmet every trip.”

UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Greater Cleveland remind families to follow these tips when biking:

  • Ride safely – Kids under age 10 should always ride on the sidewalk. If your children have to ride in the road, tell them to ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against it, while staying as far to the right as possible. Use appropriate hand signals and respect traffic signals. Stop at all stop signs and stoplights.
  • Cross safely – Children should only cross the street at corners. Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street to make sure drivers are paying attention and are going to stop.
  • Wear proper safety gear – When your children are riding at dusk, dawn or in the evening, make sure they use lights – and make sure their bikes have reflectors as well. It's also smart to have them wear clothes and accessories that have retro-reflective materials to improve visibility to motorists. White and other bright colors are best to wear whenever riding bicycles.
  • Supervise – Actively supervise children until you're comfortable that they are responsible enough to ride safely on their own.
  • Model safety behaviors – Your children will follow what you do. Make sure you are following the rules of the road and always wearing a helmet too.

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