Safety accessories required by the Australian standard are a bell or horn, so your child can alert pedestrians and other cyclists; and front, rear, pedal and spoke-mounted reflectors. If your child is going to be riding at night — which generally isn’t recommended — they’ll also need lights.
An Australian Standards-approved helmet is an essential component of the bicycle package. Don’t even consider giving your child a bike to ride without a helmet. It’s important that it fits properly and your child likes it. If it doesn’t fit well, it’s next to useless in an accident, and if your child doesn’t like it, they won’t wear it. A helmet can't be a surprise present — your child needs to try it on for size and style before you buy it.
A good helmet
- Fits snugly but comfortably on your head. You can use foam pads provided with the helmet to fine-tune the fit.
- Sits firmly about 1–1.5 cm above the eyebrows. You shouldn’t be able to move it forwards, backwards or sideways.
- Feels comfortable to wear — not too hot or heavy.
- Allows good visibility all round — a sun visor can help keep the sun out of your eyes.
- Is a bright colour so it’s more easily seen.
- Is easy to do up and undo, and has straps that are easy to adjust.
Riding on the footpath
While the rules for teens and adults riding on the footpath vary from state to state, children under 12 are allowed to ride on the footpath in all states. Cyclists must give way to pedestrians, keep to the left, and if there’s a sign saying no cycling (near shopping areas, for example) get off the bike and push it.