Modes of Transportation – On a Bicycle
Bicycle Trailers and Child Bike Seats
Child bicycle trailers and bike seats help turn your outings into enjoyable family adventures. Here are some valuable safety tips.
How can you tell if a child is ready to sit in a trailer or bike seat?
- The child is at least 12 months old. Before the age of 1, neck muscles are not strong enough to support the head in the event of an accident.
- The child can sit unassisted.
- The child can wear a properly adjusted bike helmet.
How can you tell if a child can wear a bike helmet?
- The child's head is big enough for the helmet to be properly adjusted.
- The child's neck is strong enough to support the weight of the helmet:
- Helmets are not recommended before the age of 1, since the neck, rather than the head, absorbs the force of impact, cancelling out any benefits of wearing a helmet.
Child bike seats: safety and comfort
You should always comply with the weight limit that the seat can support and make sure that it is compatible with your bike.
For safety reasons, it is strongly recommended that you choose a seat equipped with a headrest and leg protectors.
When sitting in the bike seat, children should have:
- a helmet that is properly adjusted to their head
- a straight back
- shoulder support
- their feet on the footrests
- their head against the headrest
- a properly adjusted harness
Bike trailers: for increased safety
A bicycle trailer must be equipped with two red reflectors at the rear, as far apart as practicable, or a red reflective strip placed as close to horizontal as possible across the width of the trailer.
Putting a flag or pennant on the back of the trailer is recommended for greater visibility.
Comply with the trailer manufacturer's installation instructions and safety information.
Before going for a ride, try it out!
Additional weight on a bicycle may affect handling and braking. Don't set out for a ride without having first made a few test runs with the trailer or bike seat:
- Load the trailer or seat with an object similar in weight to your child, such as a sack of potatoes.
- Start out with short trips on familiar routes (bike paths, quiet streets, etc.).
- Practise turning and braking… slowly!