One half of Toronto children walk or ride bicycles part of the way or all of the way to school (51 per cent) compared with one third of children in the outer Greater Toronto Area (34 per cent).

Health Toronto By Design Report, The Walkable City 2012

Suggested Safety Rules:

  • Ontario’s bike helmet law requires everyone under age 18 to wear an approved bike helmet when riding a bicycle
  • Always wear the right safety gear for the activity you are doing
  • Walk equipment across an intersection. Riding through cross walks is illegal and dangerous
  • Never grab onto a moving car or other vehicles
  • Only one person rides the bike. No passengers
  • Avoid wearing headphones or using cell phones while riding

Ways to Keep Children Safe:

  • Most children love wheeled sports – biking, skateboarding, scooting – and it’s a great way for them to keep healthy
  • As children learn to ride, they need time to develop decision-making skills. It is important for children to take time to develop balance and coordination through practice
  • Be cautious! Once children learn to ride, they will want to go further and faster. They may have trouble waiting for lights (or for a parent to catch up) and can suddenly ride out on the road
  • Wear clothes that are easy for drivers to see – bright colours/reflective
  • Be sure to ride on clear, even, and paved surfaces
  • Try to stay away from traffic and pedestrians. Ride in safe places such as the park, trails or school playground
  • If you want to try a wheeled sport, consider taking lessons before you start. For more information, visit CanBike lessons or Specialty sports Camps.
  • Caregivers should be close enough to reach children who are learning to ride any wheeled sports equipment
  • Children must be supervised until they have developed their skills or are at least 10 years old
  • Even older children may need on-going supervision
  • Make family safety rules with your children
  • Help them understand why rules are important and always need to be followed
  • Tell your children you are proud of them riding safely
  • Be a role model. Follow the safety rules because children learn by watching you
  • The rider’s feet should touch the ground when sitting on the bike seat. Be sure to wear shoes with covered toes
  • Make sure breaks are working, the tires have air and the chain is securely in place. See ABC Quick Check in the Young Cyclist’s Guide for more information
  • Make sure your bike has the proper safety equipment. The law requires a bell or horn, lights (when riding at night), reflector and reflective tape
  • The City has a network of bikeways including painted bicycle lanes that are designated for bicycles only
  • No person age 14 and older may ride a bicycle on a sidewalk in Toronto
  • Use a certified skateboard helmet. Skateboarding helmets cover more of the back of the head and will protect against more than one crash
  • Skateboarders need to wear wrist guards, elbow and knee pads
  • It is recommended that children under 5 years of age do not use skateboards (The American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • When skateboarding, consider using a skateboard park
  • Wear a certified in-line skating or multi-sport helmet. Bike helmets can also be used for in-line skating
  • Skate should fit as comfortably as a shoe
  • Wheels need to be securely tightened and free of debris/grass
  • Be sure to replace worn out wheels and brakes
  • Wear wrist guards, elbow and knee pads
  • Bike helmets can be used for scooter riding
  • Wear slip resistant shoes, elbow and knee pads
  • Handlebars – children should be able to hold the handlebars without leaning forward
  • Brakes need to be in good working order
  • Wheels should be securely tightened, clear of debris/grass and not worn down. Worn out wheels need to be replaced

Concussion Information: