Cycling or bike riding with infants is often an effective way for a parent to bond with her child while getting exercise and fresh air. Before taking an infant along for a ride, it's important to understand the different types of cycling accessories. It's also crucial to take the correct safety precautions to avoid injury to an infant.
Before ever taking your infant along for a bicycle ride, the child should be able to hold his head up on his own. Otherwise, all of the movement from cycling could potentially do damage to the child's head and neck. In general, infants should be at least 1 year old, but checking with your pediatrician before cycling is advised.
All infants should wear safety helmets at all times. Failure to do so could result in serious head injury if an accident occurs. When purchasing a helmet for your infant, you should ensure that it fits securely on his head and doesn't move around. Bike helmets for babies can be found in some retail stores or online.
In general, bike trailers are very safe and comfortable for infants. If a crash happens to occur, the odds of injury are reduced because bike trailers are low to the ground. Many trailers also provide protection from the elements and offer some wiggle room for the child. In addition, bike trailers provide extra storage for items like food and beverages. Trailers offer plenty of safety and tend to work well for most infants. The downside is that communication and interaction with the infant is sometimes difficult, and some models can be expensive. Transporting a bike and bike trailer can be cumbersome, too, if you do your cycling in an area that requires driving to get there.
Bikes seats are the more traditional infant carrier option. They are beneficial because they are lightweight, usually less expensive than bike trailers and allow a parent to communicate more easily with an infant. The drawback is that infants can sometimes upset the bike's balance by moving around. The potential for injury is also greater because infants can fall several feet to the ground. If you do choose this option, it's important to thoroughly follow installation instructions and secure it properly to the bike.
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