Kids scooters have become increasingly popular in recent years. In fact, a recent survey by Sustrans reveals that 14.3% of pupils in the country use scooters to go to school! The appeal of scooters is understandably obvious. For children, scooters are fun devices that take all the bore out of walking. For parents, on the other hand, scooters allow older children to travel on their own to school, and are an enjoyable distraction for the young ones.
Tips when buying a scooter for children
Buying the right type of scooter for kids will ensure that they will be able to use the scooter properly, whether they’re going to school or just gallivanting around the neighbourhood.
For a start, there are two golden rules that you should adhere to:
- The handlebars for the scooter must be parallel to your child’s waist
- Your child must be able to maintain a straight posture while riding the scooter
These two rules will guarantee the comfort of your child when using a scooter and also help ensure their safety. Otherwise, after prolonged use, back aches and subsequently, poor posture, could follow them into adulthood.
Scooters can be basically divided into two categories, namely kick scooters and electric scooters. These can be further divided into four subcategories:
- 3 or 4-wheel kick scooters: This is perfect for toddlers as young as 20 to 24 months old. The extra wheels provide balance for them to enjoy the rush of wind as they kick their way around the house. Or, they might just stand or sit on it. They are typically lightweight, made from plastic, and foldable. You should try and get models that come with adjustable handlebars as it will allow your growing child to comfortably use them for longer.
- Folding Kick Scooters: Great for children aged between five and eight. After reaching their destination, they can fold the scooter neatly – even at school.
- Electric Scooters: Powered by rechargeable batteries, electric scooters can reach a top speed of around 10 miles per hour. They are perfect for mature children of around 10 years old.
- Stunt Scooters: Extremely popular with tweens and young teens owing to their sturdier and more ‘adult’ look. Usually seen at parks where teens race around and try to impress each other with tricks.
While it’s nice to buy branded models like Micro Scooters (which are technically the ‘founder’ of kick scooters), lesser known and less expensive brands are actually not much different in terms of quality.
Safety tip for scooters
Scooters, like other wheeled toys, can be dangerous for children, especially without adult supervision. Statistics for the United Kingdom are scant, but in the United States, approximately 580,037 injuries have been attributed to kick scooters in the 11-year period between 2000 and 2011.
As such, teach your children to avoid roads which are used by motor vehicles. Instead, use pavements and smooth surfaces. Watch out for drains and grates, as scooting across these can be dangerous.
Children should also be taught to use scooter helmets, as well as perhaps elbow and knee pads. Goggles are also useful if the child is using an electric scooter or if the weather is windy – dust and debris can seriously impair vision. In addition, always wear brightly coloured clothing.
As a final tip, do not use scooters at night – even if the child is wearing reflective clothing.