7 ways to make your child bright on their bike in the dark

It's horrible once the clocks change - winter is really here. It's gloomy and dark, especially on the way to and from school, so you really need to make sure that other road users can see your child and you when you're cycling.  There are a number of ways to make everyone in your family more visible, so that you can all continue to cycle safely through the winter months. In this post we've got 7 different ways to make your child visible to drivers in the dark (or on dreary winter days).

Kids on bikes in the dark - how to make your child visible to drivers in the dark

7 ways to make your child visible to drivers in the dark

1) Kid friendly bike lights

Bike lights might seem obvious, but did you know that all bikes being ridden on the road in the dark must legally be fitted with lights? Rule 60 of the Highway Code states:

At night your cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights lit. It MUST also be fitted with a red rear reflector (and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after 1/10/85). White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen. Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp.

There are huge numbers of bike lights out there at all manner of prices - finding kid friendly bike lights is a bit harder. These Lezyne lights can be attached to a bike or bag (and presumably a trailer or rear bike seat) using rubber straps. They are operated by touching the light, so are much less fiddly for little fingers than a tiny button. They're available from Evans Cycles for £15.99 at time of writing (for a set of front and rear lights).

kid friendly bike lights

One common problem with rear lights on kids bikes can be a lack of seat post to attach them to if the seat has been lowered fully, so make sure you have another way of attaching the lights (maybe to a coat or bag).

Also read: The best kids bike lights - Winter 2018

2) Strings of lights

If you're using a trailer or a cargo bike, you may want to think about investing in outdoor lights that can be attached to the outside. This will really light you up as you cycle. There are lots of different types - you can have flashing or multicoloured ones - just make sure you can easily unattach and recharge them.

3) High visibility cycling jackets and vests

You don't need to spend a fortune on cycling kit - a cheap vest will work well, so long as it has the hi visibility taping on it.

Cycling in the dark - using a hi-vis vest will help make your child visible to drivers in the dark

If your child is going to be cycling on a regular basis, you may want to invest in a cycling jacket, which will have hi vis on the arms, front, back etc, and be better suited to riding. They're very eye catching, especially in lower light conditions.

Cycling home in the dark

Some of the names to look out for if you're looking for a hi-vis jacket include Polaris, Endura and Altura. Check out Evans Cycles,  Little Pro and Tredz, who all hold good stock - although availablity will reduce as the winter progresses.

4) High visibility cycle helmets

Another way to keep your child visible to drivers in the dark and in low light conditions is to have a bright helmet, or a helmet with a light on the back. Some tick both boxes!

The Provis Eris helmet is bright, and come with a rear light.  They're currently only £9.99 on the Provis website, which seems crazily cheap! You can read our review of the Provis Eris helment here.

Alternatively you can do for a more subtle, year round helmet, such as the Met Crackerjack or the Abus Mount X, which have an LED built into the rear adjusting strap.

Abus kids cycle helmet with build in rear light

5) Wheel lights and spoke reflectors

Wheel lights make cycling in the dark great fun, and have the added benefit of meaning traffic will see the bike side on.

Wheel lights are a great way to make your child visible to drivers in the dark - and kids love them!

 

You can get them from £5 upwards on Amazon - there's lots of fun colours and designs available.

If that's a bit too garish for your Cycle Sprog, just fitting cheap and unobtrusive spoke reflectors can really catch a motorists eye at a junction.

6) Hi visibility kids cycling gloves

Most kids winter cycling gloves will have some hi-visibility trim on them, which is great for catching motorist's eyes when signalling.

The Polaris RBS (Really Bright Stuff) mini hoolie gloves go one step further - just what you need if you're signally in low light conditions. They're available from Amazon from £15 upwards and come in yellow or orange.

Polaris Mini Hoolie Bright Yellow Kids Winter Cycling Gloves - with the hi vis trim they are a great way to make your kids visible to drivers in the dark

7) A light up balance bike

If your child is using a balance bike all year round, then the Phantom light up balance bike (from £140) might be the answer for you. Our tester found it came up slightly on the large size, so not for very small children, but great for taller toddlers wanting to be seen.

Phanton Light Up balance bike

Do you have any other ways of keeping your child bright and visible whilst they're cycling in the dark? Do let us know, either in the comments section below, or by tagging us in a social media post - we're @cyclesprog on Twitter and Instragram, or you can find us as Cycle Sprog on Facebook.

Other posts you may like:

Diclosure: We have to make a living, so we are members of a number of affiliate schemes.  This means we may get a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking some of the links on this page.

This post was first published in October 2017 and updated in October 2018 to reflect new stock availability

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