Return to Index
Safety First When Exercising With Your Little One
- Keep a moderate pace.
- Be especially aware of your surroundings.
- Watch out for dangerous terrain.
- Dress your child for the elements.
- Never leave your child unattended.
- Use safety harnesses.
- Don’t exceed the weight limit of your carrier.
- Handbrakes as well as locking wheel brakes
- A secure handle that will not become slippery from sweat (adjustable handlebars are a bonus for taller parents)
- A safety wrist strap, which will prevent the stroller from getting away from you
- Secure shoulder harness for baby
General Bike Safety
- Both you and your child must wear a helmet. A helmet should fit snugly and offer good padding.
- Wear bright, reflective clothing to make yourself more visible.
- Attach a high-flying fluorescent flag to your bike or to the trailer so others can see you.
- Be sure that child seats have spoke guards, safety belts, and adequate padding.
- Avoid blankets or loose clothing that can get caught in the spokes or other parts of the bike.
- Have the bike seat fitted to your bike. Do not use it on other bikes without having it properly fitted.
- Choose routes with little traffic. A paved bike path is ideal, especially when you are starting out.
- Teach older children basic traffic rules and bike safety.
- Firm, padded, adjustable head supports (especially important for younger babies who may be more comfortable in a front carrier)
- Secured seating that keeps the baby's back, trunk, and head upright
- Adjustable safety straps
- Correct fit for you, including wide, padded shoulder straps and a waist belt to reduce stress on the lower back
- Built-in stands to make it easier to get the backpack on and off, especially with metal-framed carriers or when using without a partner
Know that the backpack may affect your balance, and do the following to compensate:
- Take smaller steps.
- Avoid rough, hard-to-see, or slick terrain.
- Don't walk too fast, especially when going downhill.
- Never use the backpack when doing activities in which a fall or moving equipment could harm the child, such as fly-fishing, lawn mowing, or skiing.
- Check in on your child often to make sure they are comfortable
National Safe Kids Campaign http://www.safekids.org/
Consumer Product Safety Commission http://www.cpsc.gov/
Consumer Reports http://www.consumerreports.org/
Caring for Kids http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/
Bike safety tips. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor.org website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/exercise-fitness/sports-safety/bike-safety-tips.html. Updated December 2010. Accessed September 7, 2012.
EC Powell, RR Tanz. Tykes and bikes: Injuries associated with bicycle-towed child trailers and bicycle-mounted child seats. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2000;154:351-353.
Exercise good judgment while enjoying the outdoors with baby. American Chiropractic Association website. Available at: http://www.acatoday.org/content%5Fcss.cfm?CID=64. Accessed September 7, 2012.
A guide to jogging strollers. Yale School of Medicine Yale Medical Group website. Available at: http://www.yalemedicalgroup.org/stw/Page.asp?PageID=STW000504. Accessed September 7, 2012.
Travelling with children: cycling. Which? website. Available at: http://www.which.co.uk/baby-and-child/baby-transport/guides/travelling-with-children/cycling/. Accessed September 7, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012
- Update Date: 09/07/2012