To be honest, riding a scooter with my friends around the neighbourhood was one of my most memorable moments. Oh, I wish I could go in time!
Scooters aren’t just exciting for toddlers, it’s also a great way to give them a developmental boost. Plus, riding a scooter gives a toddler a sense of independence, which is crucial for their mental growth.
But right before teaching your toddler how to ride a scooter, you started asking yourself questions. Are scooters safe for toddlers? What age can a toddler ride a scooter?
Rest assured, this article covers everything you need to know about scooter safety, from choosing the right scooter up to additional tips to keep the scooter ride safe for your little one.
Are scooters safe for toddlers?
Sure, accidents can happen, just like when you’re riding other vehicles. But that doesn’t mean you should wait to introduce scooters until your child is a teenager.
What age can your child start riding a scooter?
Basically, there’s no specific age requirement to ride a scooter. Generally, children can start riding a scooter around the age of 2 to 3 years old, because, at this age, they have better control of their bodies and can balance themselves better than younger children. However, oftentimes it’s more about physical ability rather than age.
One of the signs your child is ready to ride a scooter is when he’s able to walk, run and jump without frequently failing. Or, you can balance your child’s balance by having them stand on one foot, walk on a balance beam or perform simple balance exercises.
It’s important to keep in mind that even if your child is within the age range for riding a scooter, they may not be ready to ride on their own right away. Some children may need more time to develop their coordination and balance skills before they can safely ride a scooter independently.
How to choose the right scooter for a toddler?
The most essential part of scooter safety is choosing the right scooter for your child. A scooter that’s suitable for your child’s physical ability and body size will be easier to ride. Here are some tips to choose a safe scooter for a toddler.
Type of scooter
Typically, there are two types of scooters: two-wheel and three-wheel scooters.
A two-wheel, often called a kick scooter, is a more popular option as it provides more freedom of movement. However, riding a two-wheel scooter requires your child to have a proper balancing skills, and may be harder to control for a first-timer.
Meanwhile, the three-wheeled scooter works in a similar way to a kid’s bike with stabiliser wheels;. it’s more stable and easier for younger children to balance.
We’d recommend starting with a three-wheeled scooter and teaching your child to ride a scooter, especially if he’s still around 2 to 3 years old. However, it’s still okay to pick the kick scooter if you’re confident with your child’s physical ability.
Pick The Right Scooter Size
Using a properly sized scooter is essential to ensure your toddler’s safety while riding. A scooter that is too big or too small can increase the risk of falls and injuries, as well as make it difficult for your toddler to control the scooter while riding. Start by considering the handlebar height and wheel size that suits your child’s body size and height.
If you choose a two-wheel scooter, consider a wheel size between 100mm to 125mm, because it’s large enough to provide stability and control, yet large enough to provide a smooth ride. For a three-wheel scooter, picking a slightly smaller wheel size between 80mm to 100mm will provide easier control and stability for younger children.
As for the handlebar, we’d recommend picking one between 50mm to 60mm if your child is still a toddler or under 5 years old. This height allows for a comfortable and easy grip for smaller hands, while also allowing for good posture and control while riding. It’s even better if you pick a scooter with an adjustable handlebar feature as it can be adjusted as your child grows.
Additional Safety Features
Some scooters are just easier and more comfortable to ride than others. These scooters are designed with features that are optimised for young children, here are some of them that you need to consider:
- Wide and non-slip base. A scooter with a wide and non-slip base provides a stable and comfortable surface for your child to stand on, which is also important for maintaining balance and stability while riding.
- Safe braking system. Keep in mind to always check the scooter brake before making a purchase.
- Easy-grip handlebar. Some handlebars are just too big and slippery for children’s little hands. Pick the one that’s small enough and has a strong grip surface.
How to Keep Your Toddler Safe While Riding a Scooter
Wear Protective Gear
Wearing protective gear such as a helmet is a must, even when your child only rides around the neighbourhood a short distance. You may also want to consider wearing your child’s knee and elbow pads for additional protection. After all, we never know when a fall might happen. So, wearing these gears can always help to protect your child from a hard asphalt surface.
Make Sure They Understand Road Safety
When teaching your toddler to ride a scooter, make sure you let them know all the basics of road safety. Start by teaching them the traffic light rule and where they should ride on the road, such as on the crosswalk or at the side of the road. Also, make sure to let them state the rule to really check if your child understands.
Wear Proper Footwear
Wearing proper footwear helps protect their feet in case of accidents. Instead of a sandal, opt for closed-toe shoes with non-slip soles as it provides better traction and helps prevent slips and falls.
Scooters can be a safe and enjoyable activity for toddlers if the proper safety precautions are taken. It’s important to choose a scooter that is the appropriate size for your child, has the necessary safety features, and makes sure to let them understand all basics of road safety. By prioritising safety and following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your toddler has a fun and safe scooter riding experience.