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In the kingdom of “Mobile Innovations” dwells a category of recreational vehicles known as the kick scooter. They come in small, medium and large. Boring color schemes and lively prints that range from Disney characters to camouflage patterns plus the sleek, metal, industrial look, designed for no-nonsense tots who plan to rule boardrooms and empires!
How do you define a kick scooter? Briefly, this popular transport platform features a deck that mimics a skateboard, towering handlebars, properly-sized wheels (usually 2 or 3) and the potential to put some serious miles between home and destinations. Easy and fun to ride they are undoubtedly the best scooter for kids and, as such, are now ubiquitous in play parks worldwide.
Because the market offers a diversity of sizes, styles and price points, harried moms and dad are faced with yet another decision to make when they shop, which is why we urge you to pay more attention to safety features than you do colors and patterns.
And when you shop, keep this in mind: According to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, of 67,000 kids landing in ERs due to scooter accidents, the majority (59,000 of them) happened while kids were riding manual, not motorized, models. (Source)
Scooting Ages and Stages
What’s the most important safety feature of all? Buying a scooter that’s age-appropriate, so start your search for safety guidelines right here:
- Toddlers aged 2 to 3 do best on light, stable, appropriately weighted models with three wheels and handlebars that reach waist height. View this video to glimpse a typical child maneuvering a scooter:
- By the age of 5, you might want to consider a 2-wheel scooter if your child has mastered three and you think she’s ready. (Make it foldable so she totes it around when she’s not riding it.)
- Prioritize wheel size if your youngster frequents bumpy surfaces (120mm or above) by the time he’s 7
- Some 8-year-olds are ready to trade kick scooters for motorized ones, but if he’s still happy to power himself, kids this age like small wheels and fixed bars to try out their first stunts! (Source)
Invest in a kick scooter safety gear
- Long sleeve pants, in bright colors, absorb falls and scrapes.
- Brightly colored long sleeve shirts may rebuff scrapes and scratches if she falls off.
- Purchase a stylish safety helmet decorated with characters she loves so she remembers to wear it.
- Your child should leave home looking like an advertisement for safety padding: knee and elbow pads, wrist pads and anything new that comes on the market and can be found on store shelves to protect against impact.
Scooter Riding Safety Tips
Bicycle safety tips are as appropriate for scooters and this short, animated YouTube video can introduce your child to the subject even before you discuss tips below:
- Have your child test drive several models before buying. Keep the receipt, just in case.
- Read the box to double check age recommendations posted on the manufacturer’s label.
- Look for awards, certifications and other recommendations given by safety counsels and recognized authorities.
- Be vigilant about safety helmet conditions. Check it for strap, surface and interior wear repeatedly.
- Instill in your child the need to wear shoes at all times. Even if you live in Florida!
- Make a list of places to avoid, like hills, steps, curbs, gutters and obstacles that can prove hazardous. Escort Junior to examples so images imprint on his brain.
- Attend to your child’s scooter tires as often as you do your automobile’s rubber.
- Supervise your child if you know he or she is prone to mimic stunts seen on videos or show-off siblings.
- Make scooter riding a “non-earbud” sport. If he’s listening to music, how will he hear approaching danger?
For parents eager to go above and beyond
If your mini-scooter rider is so young, you’d never let her out of your sight, watch this spunky, adventurous 2-year-old as a reminder of how easily things can turn dangerous:
If she continues to show an aptitude for adventure and gets so absorbed in her scooting that she loses track of time and her own whereabouts, then consider a GPS device.
Reviewers have referred to these products as “LoJack for bikes” and once upon a time, they were outrageously expensive. But prices are dropping as manufacturers track theft trends that you can take advantage of to keep tabs on your child whenever she’s running around on her scooter.