Breaking down ‘how safe are electric scooters for kids?’
The e-scooter is whizzing its way into the future. Once a mere toy used purely for fun and games, it is now a viable vehicle that can do much more than entertain. Introducing your child to one of these is another induction into the future carbon-neutral society. UK's £250m funding for cycle lanes and fast-tracking e-scooter trials is part of the sustainable transport boost. But, if you find yourself asking, ‘how safe are electric scooters for kids?’ we are giving you honest and accurate answers.
E-scooters are part of a growing range of green transportation options across Europe, the US, and Asia, poised to become the future of user-friendly micromobility. They are no more risky than electric bikes. By following the scooter safety best practice, your child will enjoy a safer experience.
Always consider the age and build of your child
You can buy e-scooters according to children’s ages. Every scooter has a maximum speed and weight. Small children who are just beginning to ride will find a heavy scooter harder to ride. If they are just beginning to ride, they don’t need anything fast. Kids should be able to reach the handlebars easily to manoeuvre comfortably. Adjustable handlebars can solve this problem. In the same way, an older child should not be riding a scooter designed for a younger child. It affects the machine’s performance and damages its deck and axles. And, the smaller the rider, the smaller the tyres should be.
If you are using the scooter to teach your child to ride, you do not need one with high-speed ranges. Scooter models differ in their battery range. The batter range for electric scooters for kids is usually between 40 minutes and several hours. Battery capacity depends on the terrain, riding style, and the weight of the rider. Younger kids will do well with a shortened range that prevents them from going too far. More battery power ensures a longer ride time.
A larger motor provides better acceleration and faster speeds. Older kids might want uninterrupted play-time with high speeds. Charging times vary and depend on the size of the motor and the make. Brakes can be vital for your child’s safety. Kick scooters do not have a braking system. You can slow down an electric scooter by using a footbrake or a handbrake.
Make sure to buy quality scooters built for safety and durability. Always buy trusted brands from approved retailers.
Electric scooters with IP ratings of 54 and above are water-resistant or splash-resistant but not waterproof. Scooter manufacturers advise against riding in the rain or snow. Warranty rarely covers water damage. Although sealants protect the battery and other integral parts of the scooter, if water gets into sensitive parts, it can damage the machine. Most importantly, it can be unsafe for kids to ride in wet weather conditions as the surfaces can be slippery, muddy, and obscured. Poor visibility in the rain can cause accidents too.
To make sure your kid’s scooter is safe at all times for riding, always carry out inspections before and after use.
- An e-scooter features a lithium-ion battery, and it deteriorates over time with the cycle of charging and discharging and temperatures. Make sure to keep track of how long a single charge lasts and the rate of battery depreciation. Check the battery level to make sure the bike has enough power for a ride.
- Underinflated tyres are at risk of punctures, have a weaker grip, and can cause accidents.
- Check the brakes, particularly if the scooter has a disc brake. The pads of disc brakes wear over time and need adjusting every so often.
- Identify loose bolts or screws and tighten them immediately.
- A folding scooter has adjustable handlebars; these need adjusting to set around your child's waist height, and the clamp holding them must be tight.
Children need basic training to get comfortable with a scooter and learn safety rules. It's important to point out to them the operative parts and components of the scooter, such as the throttle, brakes, battery display, speedometre, etc. They need to learn how to operate the scooter. You can demonstrate riding briefly. While an e-scooter can clock a speed range of 30mph, beginners should never ride full speed. Use a speed limiter to restrict speeds. A scooter must not carry a passenger.
Safe scooter riding needs safety gear just as much as you need them to ride a bike. Regardless of experience, riders should always wear a helmet to prevent head injuries. Choose a lightweight but sturdy helmet with chin straps. Knee and elbow pads minimise scooter injuries from a fall. Insurance will also cover liability when it comes to accidents, especially on the road. While comprehensive insurance covers the rider and the scooter, third-party only insurance covers injury to pedestrians and damage to property.
On the road
Riders over 16 years with at least a provisional car, motorcycle, or moped license can ride on the roads under the new scheme. They must not exceed the 15.5mph speed limit.
Electric scooters will become part of green transport in the future, and letting your child explore the outdoors with these will make them eco-savvy and keep them active. Buy your kids UK-approved e-scooters at Mini Bikes Off Road.