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Bike and Small Wheeled Recreation Safety

Bike trailers and bike-mounted carriers for children

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Biking is great for family time and fitness, and bike trailers and bike-mounted carriers allow adults to enjoy bike riding with small children as passengers.

Keep your child safe when they are riding in a bike trailer or sitting in a carrier mounted on your bicycle:

  • Children aren’t ready to travel in a bike trailer or carrier until they can sit upright, have good head control, and are over 1 year of age.
  • Make sure your child wears a helmet for every ride. In Alberta, cyclists under the age of 18 must wear an approved bicycle helmet. This includes children riding in bike trailers and carriers.
  • Always read and follow the instructions that came with your bike trailer or carrier.
  • Do not leave your child unattended while in a bike trailer or carrier.

Bike trailers

​When using a bike trailer, check that:

  • The trailer is properly secured to your bike. A trailer with a rotating hitch will prevent tipping if the bike falls, and metal bars or a roll cage will prevent your child from being injured if the trailer tips.
  • There's a secure harness system for each child, and you are using it properly.
  • Any removable sides are in place.
  • There are reflectors on all sides of the trailer, or you have a trailer that is made of reflective material.
  • The trailer is not overloaded.

Bike-mounted carriers

Bike-mounted carriers have a high centre of gravity, so they are less stable than bike trailers. Your bike is more likely to tip over using a carrier than a trailer. 

When using a bike-mounted carrier, make sure:

  • That the carrier is properly secured to your bike.
  • You are using the harness system properly to secure your child.
  • Your child's feet can’t catch in the wheels of your bike.

Riding with a bike-mounted carrier or a bike trailer can be challenging. Practice riding on quiet streets before going onto busy roads and pathways. Install a mirror on your bike handlebars so that you can check your child as you ride. Set a good example for your children by wearing your bike helmet every time you ride.

You can reduce your child’s risk of a cycling-related injury by making sure the equipment and environment are safe, and that the activity is appropriate for your child’s age.

Current as of: October 25, 2023

Author: Provincial Injury Prevention, Alberta Health Services