Walking and Cycling Safety for Youth

Safety check

Even if your youth has biked for years or feels confident, it is always a good idea to review some of the basics:

  • Wearing a helmet is important for everyone. This video can help encourage your youth to wear one.
  • Identify safe routes with your youth. Discuss how to stay safe when it's dark outside or when they are alone.
  • Encourage your youth to wear bright colours and use reflective materials. In bad weather, visibility is even more important.
  • Make eye contact with drivers and other road users before you step off the curb.
  • Encourage your youth to limit distractions and look up to keep an eye on the road. When your youth is looking down, they are not paying attention to their surroundings.
  • Review the rules of the road before cycling, walking or wheeling.
  • When walking, cross only at designated crossings such as pedestrian crossovers and intersections.
  • When cycling, help your youth understand right-of-way and road signs.
  • Visit the School Zone Traffic Safety page for more road safety rules.
  • Visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website for cycling safety laws.
  • Dress for the weather. Here are a few tips on protecting your youth in cold weather in Ottawa.

Learn more about the benefits of walking and cycling to school here. The City of Ottawa also offers short and affordable cycling courses that can help everyone improve their skills.

Visit the Ottawa Public Health Cycling page for bike maps and tips. Check out the Walking page  for local walking and hiking resources.  Also visit this link for more information on bike repair stations.

Learn more about helmet safety for your youth.

Learn more about safety when walking or biking to school.

Do you have more questions about parenting?

  • Connect with a registered nurse from Health811 for free, secure, and confidential health advice. Service is available 24/7 in English and French, with translation support also offered in other languages. Call 8-1-1 or visit Health811.ontario.ca.
  • Connect with a Community Navigator from 2-1-1 for information about community programs and resources across Eastern Ontario. Helpline service is available 24/7 and in many different languages. Call 2-1-1 or visit 211ontario.ca.
  • Connect with other parents on the Parenting in Ottawa Facebook page.
  • There are a variety of services to make it easier for your child to grow up healthy in Ottawa.
  • You can update your child's immunization record using either the CANImmunize App or the Immunization Connect Ontario (ICON) Tool
  • If you have received a message from Ottawa Public Health such as a letter or a call regarding immunization, an infectious disease, or infection control lapse, please call 613-580-6744 and listen to the menu options carefully.

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