Safety Tips

Safety Topics (click to jump to an area):
a). Bicycle Safety Tips
b). Child Passenger Safety Facts and Tips
c). Pedestrian Safety Tips
d). Water Safety Tips
e). More Safety Tips from Safe Kids Worldwide


Bicycle Safety Tips

Bicycles, tricycles, skateboards, and inline skates can all be fun ways for kids to stay active and play outdoors.  Here are a few tips to make sure kids are safe while bicycling:

Teach kids the 3 B’s of Safe Bicycle Riding-

  • BE RESPONSIBLE– Use a bicycle helmet when riding your bike.
  • BE PREDICTABLE– Learn hand signals for right turns, left turns, and stopping.
  • BE VISIBLE– Wear bright clothing, reflectors and lights when riding at dusk or in the evening.

Make sure kids always wear a properly fitted helmet.  In California- it’s the law!

Use the Eyes, Ears, and Mouth Check Test for proper helmet fit-

  • EYES– Helmet should fit level on your head and the rim should be one or two finger-widths above the eyebrows.
  • EARS– Helmet side straps should create a tight “V” under your ear lobes when buckled.
  • MOUTH– Helmet chin strap should fit snug when you open your mouth
  • Quick Test– Shake your head from side to side to make sure the helmet is secure.

Buy a bike that fits the size of your child.

Use the ABC Quick Check to check the safety of your child’s bike-

  • A is for air pressure check.
  • B is for brake check.
  • C is for checking cranks, chains and cogs.
  • Quick is quick release, making sure quick releases on wheels are tight and closed properly.
  • Check is for check it over; make sure your bike is ready to ride.

Teach kids the rules of the road-

  • Teach them to ride with traffic, not against it.
  • Make sure they ride on the right-hand side of the road.

Teach kids to use hand signals when turning-

  • Left turn- Extend your left arm straight out, parallel to the road
  • Right turn- Extend your left upper-arm out to the left, bending your elbow up and pointing your fingertips up; or extend your right arm straight out to your right side, parallel to the road
  • Stop- Extend your left upper arm out to the left, parallel to the road and bend your elbow down and point your fingers to the ground

Avoid riding when it’s dark or in bad weather.
Use lights, bright clothing and reflective materials to make it easier for cars to spot you and your child.
Make sure children are supervised by adults until they have a good handle of traffic skills and judgment.

For more information on bicycle safety, click here.

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Child Passenger Safety Facts and Tips

Riding in cars can be a fast way to get from one place to another.  That’s why it’s important to make sure kids are safely secured when making quick trips or long car rides. Here are few tips to make sure kids are safely transported in cars:

Car Safety Seat Tips

  • Make sure kids use car seats or booster seats that are appropriate for their age, height and weight.
  • California law, effective January 1, 2017, requires children to remain rear-facing until age 2. Click here for more information.
  • Once they have outgrown their rear-facing seat, kids can use forward facing safety seats with a harness. This means safely securing the child in a car seat facing the front of the car.  Kids should continue using their forward-facing seat with a harness until they outgrow it by weight or height.
  • Kids up to age 8 must ride in booster seats in the back seat.
  • Kids age 8 or older or who are 4’9” or taller can use a seat belt. The lap belt must fit low on their hips with the shoulder belt crossing the middle of their chest.
  • Kids who are not 4’9” or taller must use a booster seat.
  • Never buy used car seats if you don’t know its full history and never use car seats that have been in a car crash.
  • Remember all car seats have expiration dates.  The expiration date can be found on a sticker on the seat.  Typically it’s for 6 years. If there are any questions contact the seat manufacturer.
  • Have your car seat checked by a child passenger safety technician.
  • For personalized car seat tips visit the Ultimate Car Seat Guide from Safe Kids Worldwide.

For information on where to get your car seat checked in the Sacramento area, click here.   For locations outside the Sacramento area visit
Or visit Safe Kids Greater Sacramento’s Car Seat Help page.

Seat Belt Tips

  • Make sure all passengers wear safety belts for every trip, every time. Remember kids learn from adults.
  • Never place the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back. And be sure to check your kids for proper  belt positioning.

Safety Tips for In and Around Cars

  • Never leave you baby or toddler alone in a car.
  • Teach kids not to play in or around cars.
  • Make sure all kids leave the car when you reach your destination. Don’t forget to check for sleeping babies.
  • Always lock car doors and trucks, and keep remotes and keys away from kids to stop them from getting in the car when you are not around.
  • Make sure kids play in safe areas away from any moving or parked cars.
  • Teach kids never to run out into the street.
  • Walk around your parked car to check for kids before getting into your car.
  • Hold your child’s hand when in driveways or while walking near moving cars.

For more information on child passenger safety, click here.

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Pedestrian Safety Tips

Walking is a great way to get children physically active and a healthy alternative to motor vehicles. Here are a few tips to make sure kids are safe while walking:

  • Make sure parents and caregivers hold young children’s hands when crossing streets and when in parking lots.
  • Teach kids to walk on sidewalks or paths. And if there is no sidewalk available, be sure to face traffic and stay left.
  • Teach kids never to run into the street without looking.
  • Teach kids to always cross streets at corners. Make sure to use signals and crosswalks when crossing.
  • Make sure kids make eye contact with drivers before entering the crosswalk.
  • Teach kids to look left, then right, then left again before crossing the street.
  • Teach kids to always walk across the street. Never run.
  • Teach kids never to cross the street between parked cars. You may see oncoming traffic but chances are they don’t see you.
  • Teach kids to always cross in front of school buses- at least 10 feet in front of them.
  • Keep an eye out for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Make sure kids are easily seen by cars. Encourage kids to wear bright clothing and reflective materials so they are easily seen at dawn, dusk, evening or during bad weather.
  • Make sure children are supervised until they have good pedestrian skills and walking judgment.

For more information on pedestrian safety, click here.

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Water Safety Tips

Small kids can drown in common everyday places such as bathtubs, toilets, and buckets.  Here are a few tips to avoid hidden and visible water-related hazards at any age:

ABC’s of Drowning:

Make sure to always follow these easy steps:

  • A for Adult Supervision- Always assign a “Water Watcher” who knows how to swim.  Download a Water Watcher card here.
  • B for Barriers- Put in, check and always use a child-proof barrier around your pool/spa area.
  • C for CPR and Classes- Learn CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and rescue breathing. Make sure kids and adults in your family go to swim lessons and receive water safety training.

To learn more about the ABC’s of Drowning, click here.

At Home

  • Keep bathroom and laundry rooms closed;
  • Empty all buckets, store them up upside down, and out of children’s reach;
  • Keep toilet lids closed;
  • Drain tubs immediately after bath time;
  • When in the bath, keep kids at arm’s reach and supervised at all times; and
  • Learn infant and adult CPR.

At Local Pools and Spas

  • Make sure there is at least a 4 foot high self-latching gated fence around all sides of the pool or spa; with a self-latching gate.
  • Use pool or spa surface or gate alarms;
  • Make sure to supervise all children without interruptions regardless if they know how to swim;
  • Learn how to swim;
  • For children who do not know how to swim well, make sure they are within reach at all times;
  • Make sure children and adults know how to swim;
  • Teach children not to play or swim near pool or spa drains;
  • Remove ladders for above ground pools when not in use;
  • Use anti-entrapment drain covers and back-up devices; and
  • Cover  pools and spas when not in use;
  • Keep a phone nearby in the case of emergency;
  • If a child is missing, check the pool/spa first;
  • Learn infant and adult CPR.

Beach, Lake, or River

  • Always watch children, regardless of their ability to swim, while in or near water;
  • Make sure there are no distractions (e.g. talking with others, texting, reading, etc.) when watching children;
  • Makes sure all children and adults wear properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets while boating or participating in water sports;
  • Be aware of weather, currents, and wave conditions;
  • Make sure children and adults know how to swim;
  • Know how to swim out of a rip current;
  • Teach children never to swim alone;
  • Teach children only to swim in designated swimming areas;
  • Teach children how to swim and float with a lift jacket;
  • Keep a phone nearby in the case of emergency;
  • If a child is missing, check the water first;
  • Learn infant and adult CPR; and
  • Learn how to use rescue equipment.

For more information on water safety, click here.

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