Message from Elmer the Safety Elephant

How many toys with wheels can you ride on?

I can ride on bicycles, skateboards, scooters and in line skates. When I was learning to ride, I fell a few times. It did not hurt much because I had all of my safety gear on. Can you name all of the safety gear you need to put on before riding?

Helmet: That is right! Make sure that mom and dad help you adjust the straps so that it sits on your head and forehead the proper way and does not slip.

Wrist guards: My favourite! These are very important to protect my wrists from breaking if you take a tumble. It is no fun wearing an arm cast on your wrist in the summertime.

Knee pads and elbow pads: Oh yeah! Don’t forget these pads. A nasty gash in the knee will end your fun right away. My knee pads have bad scratches on them, so I know that they are protecting me.

Wear shoes. Of course! You know to wear shoes and not go barefoot. I also wear long-sleeve tops and pants to protect my skin from scrapes.

How about riding in a safe place?

The best place to ride will have a smooth, flat surface and little or no traffic, such as playgrounds and rinks. Ride during daylight and respect the pedestrians.

How about the condition of my bicycle?

No matter what you use to ride, make sure that it is in good condition and the right size. On your bicycle, check brakes, tires, pedals, chain and whether or not they are in working condition. Do you have reflectors, a bell and a safety flag? I do because they help motorists see me when I ride to the park.

Remember if your friend riding ahead of you crosses the intersection, you must still stop and see for yourself if it is safe. Also make sure you know how to shoulder check in the rear before riding in streets.

If you wear protective gear, you will enjoy your time riding. Know the safe places to ride and make sure that your bicycle, skateboard, scooter or skates are safe and ready to use. I use sunscreen before playing outside and drink lots of water. I hope you do too!

Be smart and be safe.