Safety tips and gear for kids scooting that bring you peace of mind
No one is too cool to scoot! Trust us! From David Cameron trying to keep up with his kids on a scooter to Hugh Jackman constantly zipping around on one, the scooter does not age-discriminate. From 2year olds to prime ministers, everybody loves gliding through the air on one. However, its younger riders are the most noticeable due to their numbers. More and more children are choosing to scoot to school. And, safety tips and gear for kids scooting ensure accidents do not happen, or if they do, they do not hurt the rider.
Check the quality and build of the scooter
The basic kick scooter design is a simple one, and the more advanced versions take after this design. The simplicity also means the frames and wheels must be strong enough to support body weight comfortably. Solid aluminium construction provides the strength a scooter needs for safe riding. High-grade aluminium ore and billet aluminium are reliable build materials. Foldable ones should not be too heavy to carry. While very young children can safely ride a scooter with smaller wheels, older kids need a machine with 8”-10” wheels. Braking systems fail on small wheels when there isn't enough surface area to grip.
It should be age and build-appropriate
Every child has different levels of capability when it comes to scooting. While there are options for different age groups, let's start with a crucial consideration - the handlebar height. The ideal height of handlebars for small children should reach the midriff easily. As kids get taller, handlebars should be at waist height. Anything too low disrupts balance, and anything too high affects visibility and manoeuvres. Consider the width of the scooter deck. Learn whether your child finds it easier to stay on the scooter when the deck is broader or narrower.
Beginners between ages two and four will find three-wheeled scooters easier to handle. When your child has mastered the three wheels, it's time to make the switch to a two-wheeled kids scooter once they are five and older.
E-scooters and petrol-powered ones are much faster than regular kick scooters. They also have advanced brake systems handy for controlling the bike without the need for physical manoeuvering. Some also come with seats and luggage carriers. Stunt scooters are recommended for ages 8 and above as they require more developed motor skills and better coordination.
Proper training goes a long way
Teach your child scooter safety tips by letting them get the hang of riding one somewhere safe and less distractive. Start on flat ground. They should use their strong leg to push off the ground. Teach them to use handbrakes, as well as dragging the kicking foot lightly on the ground to slow down. Longer strides help gain more momentum than repetitive small ones. However, this entirely depends on your child’s build. Beginners should keep their kicking foot up a few inches off the ground instead of both feet on deck to help gain more control if the bike tips or the speed is too fast. Slowly rotating the handlebar to turn instead of sudden swerves is an essential skill. When going downhill, they should know to keep one foot on the brake and press it lightly as they go down.
Scoot on safe routes
They should avoid busier roads with traffic, buses, and lots of vehicles. Uneven roads with potholes are not suitable for gliding on a scooter. There are cycle and scooter trails across the UK, and parks make ideal locations for leisure time scooting. If they are riding a scooter to school, make sure you accompany them to check how suitable the route is. Children should never cross the road on the scooter. They should wheel it along or carry it.
Rain makes roads slippery, and brakes may not work well when it is damp. Snow, too, interferes with a scooter's functionality, and it is best to leave it at home when the weather is too wet.
Listening to music or being busy on the phone distracts from riding safely. Children should get into the habit of putting gadgets and devices away when they are on the scooter.
Kids should be wearing clothes that protect them from cuts and grazes. Long trousers and long-sleeved shirts are preferable clothing choices. When riding in low-light conditions, brightly coloured and reflective clothing allows others to see the riders better. Trainers are the best footwear choice for better gripping and safe contact with the ground. Flip-flops, high-heeled shoes, and sandals should be discouraged.
Falls are the most common cause of injury in scooting. And, head injuries are, by far, the worst in accidents and collisions.
Wearing a helmet has the effectiveness to reduce the risk of head injury by 70% or more. They can absorb the impact of a fall or blow. Helmets must be securely fit and fasten on the rider’s head. The helmet needs to sit just above the eyebrows and should not move around the head - forward, backward, or sideways.
When falling, children save themselves by instinctively putting out their hands, which can cause wrist fractures. Wrist, elbow, and knee guards protect vulnerable joints.