Though helmets are required, gloves help children keep a good grip on handlebars. Kids Comp by Axo ($20) and Kids Gloves by Trek ($15) come in trendy styles. To soften any blows on that center bar on the bike (ouch!), try Graffiti Pads from Bomber ($19).
Before your child rides, be sure to check that brakes are working properly and tires are in good condition. Every bike should have a headlight, red rear and tire reflectors, and a bell or horn. Your child surely won't balk at the cute character pictures on the tops of Pyramid's chrome bells ($4) or the animal-shaped horns ($9) by Co-Union. To keep your kid on top of the most important rules of the road (riding with traffic, not against; obeying street signs; signaling for turns), log on to www.safekids.org.