Even the best scooters for kids come with some amount of risk. I’ve put together some safety tips to help parents understand and minimize these risks to keep their kids safe while scooting. Most will have kids that either skateboard, or ride bikes, so some of these tips will be familiar but always good to keep reminding ourselves of things we can do to make sure our kids are getting great exercise, meeting new friends, staying active and having fun, but also being safe.
These tips will apply whether your kids are just beginning on three wheeled scooters, or you’re a parent of older kids who like to do tricks and scoot at the skate parks with their friends.
Best Scooters For Kids: Safety Tips For Safe Scooting!
First and foremost, wearing protective gear is always advised. Elbow and knee pads may become optional the older the child gets, but helmets should be worn all the time. Make sure the helmet is approved, fits level, and the chin strap is snug. Bicycle helmets are great for kids who are just learning, and approved multi-impact skateboard helmets are great for older kids on two wheeled scooters, and trick scooters. Luckily skateboarding companies, and pro riders have worked hard to make skateboard helmets cool, so there should be no trouble getting your kid to wear one. However, make sure you follow each manufacturer’s size guide, they are approved for the sport, and have a chin strap. For more, see our guide on How to Find the Best Scooter Helmets For Kids.
Have The Right Clothing
For youngsters and new riders, they should be supervised at all times, but they you should still make sure others can see them easily by having them wear bright, highly visible clothing. For kids riding at the skateparks, jeans, or other trousers made from rugged and durable material will help to protect against scrapes and minor cuts. If they insist on shorts, then insist on knee pads at the very least!
Map Out a Safe Route
This is a tip that not only applies to scooting, but cycling, or even just walking around on their own. Identify a safe route around the neighborhood where you feel comfortable, and is familiar enough, to let your kids go by themselves. Walk the route with them, more than once, and point out potential dangers and how to avoid them. This is great practice for going to school, or even trick-or-treating on Halloween. You can expand the route slowly over time as they get older.
Walk Across the Street
Just like a bicycle, make sure your kids know to get off the scooter and walk across the street at crosswalks and intersections. Remind them that once they are on wheels, they are no longer a pedestrian, so to safely cross a larger road to get off the scooter and go through the normal procedures of either pressing the button, and waiting for the light to change, or waiting until cars have stopped and made eye contact before walking across the street continuously looking in both directions.
This one is mostly for the parents, but you can teach your child what to look for, and how to spot wear and tear and check for loose bolts. Make part of a regular routine to check the wheels and all the nuts and bolts to make sure everything is tight and secure.
Head For the Grass!
We all want our kids to slow down and scoot at safe speeds but it’s important to teach them what to do if they feel they are losing control, or going too fast. One way is to head for grass! This isn’t always possible I understand, but around the neighborhood beside the sidewalk is usually a lawn or patch of grass. If they steer the scooter to the grass it will slow them down, and if they take a tumble, it will help pad the fall. Again, this isn’t always possible, but it’s important to teach them what they can do to avoid injury in your neighborhood or at the skatepark. Wearing knee pads is key because another popular method on the skate ramps when they feel they are going to fall is to drop to their knees and slide. Flailing limbs during a tumble tend to twist, sprain or worse, but sliding on their knees can avoid that outcome. It takes some practice, and I know it sounds silly, but it helps to have them practice a light tumble so they know what it’s like.