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Children love riding bikes because of the mobility, independence, speed or stunts. They get into road accidents and injuries easily because of their age and immaturity in co-ordination. Parents can help by buying them protective gear like helmets, elbow and knee pads, choosing the right size bike, teaching kids road safety rules and safe bike riding rules.

Kids should only start riding two-wheeled bikes from the age of 5 up. This is when they have better motor and balancing skills. Don't buy an oversized bike that the child has to grow into. It's dangerous for the child to handle a bike too big for his comfort. Get the right size by having the kid try to grip the handlebars while seated on the bike. The balls of both feet must be able to touch the ground.

Get a helmet and teach the child to use it properly with the chinstrap buckled. Explain the dangers of head injuries. Buy elbow and knee pads for learners of two-wheelers.

Encourage kids to ride in gardens, parks or places with bicycle paths. For older kids, teach them road safety rules.

Check the bike regularly to maintain lights, brakes and saddle height. The seat may need adjusting as the child grows.

Teach kids to wear suitable clothing for biking. No tight skirts or other clothing that might get entangled with the bicycle's chain.

Children should ride in single file to avoid overcrowding the lane and allow faster motorists to overtake them.

Tell kids strictly no stunt riding or hitch-hiking a passenger.

Avoid riding at night or on rainy days.

Fix a bike basket to carry goods so that the child has his hands free to grip the handlebars.

Discourage bringing any music player or headphones when out biking. The child can't pay attention to traffic or horns.

Encourage wearing of proper footwear such as covered shoes like canvas shoes. This protects feet against blisters or falls.

For infants, it is extremely dangerous to carry them on bikes in any form. It's better to walk or take some other mode of transport.

Bike accidents are unnecessary tragedies. We can reduce bike accidents by following these basic safety rules.