Getting the right Kids Scooter – What to consider
The numerous types, designs, and sizes of kids scooters in shops, markets, and supermarkets could be so overwhelming that you begin to face the problem of choice.
You could get confused and ask yourself questions like; which of these kids scooters is fake or which is original? Which will my kid love or which will him/her not love? Which seems safer for my kid, which doesn’t?
One of the grave mistakes that we, as parents make, however, is to consider the aesthetics and price of the scooter for kids as criteria for the selection of the best kids scooter.
Some believe that the fanciest looking and relatively expensive children`s scooters should be the best. However, I beg to prove you wrong through this article that there are far more important factors to consider before venturing into buying your child a scooter.
Consider the following before buying anything, this points will help you to buy the best scooter for kids, you can also have a look at the Physical activity guidelines for children (under 5):
Your Child’s Characteristics
If your child is just about to start using a scooter, the first few rides might not really be easy. Therefore, the first important advice I will give you is to choose a scooter for your kid that best suits his age (The best types of scooters for different child will be well discussed in another article).
You can introduce your child to scooter when he is 2 years old, but it is preferable, to begin with the 3 wheel kids scooter for safe riding. They offer greater stability and are a safer option for learning gently. 2 wheel kids scooters are better suited to children aged 5 to 7, who are already used to riding. This will give them greater speed and better feel.
Height and Weight
Apart from their age, other important characteristics that you need to consider are your child’s height and weight. Generally speaking, the kids scooter’s handlebars should reach your child’s hip/waist height. This enables them to ride with greater control and more confidence.
Also, the scooter shouldn’t be too big or too small, because either could make your kid ride around in an incorrect posture which could hurt their back muscles. To choose the right scooter according to your child’s height and weight, you can always bring them along to the shop or market and let them test the various available kids scooters.
The Build of the Scooter
This addresses the physical features of the scooter you want to purchase and how it best suits your child’s age and needs. You should well consider physical features including the wheel material and size, size and material of the scooter deck, the number of wheels and the material of the body of the scooter, before buying your child the scooter.
Wheel width affects the stability of a scooter i.e. the wider the wheels are, the better stability is and the less is the speed of such a scooter. This best suits children toddlers and children below the age of 5 who are just learning how to ride.
However, scooters with little and narrow wheels, made of rubberized plastic are more suitable for older children as they can easily speed up such a scooter.
Most kid scooters are either made of plastic, metal or both. Plastic children’s scooters are light, so usually they are designed for toddlers under two years of age. Unfortunately, plastic is not the most durable option so it is not suitable for children who have already learned how to ride actively. Therefore, it is best to buy a metal core scooter (aluminium or steel preferably) for children above the age of 4. Although it is definitely heavier and more difficult to ride, but the whole idea is improving the physical and cognitive development of your child.
The first thing you need to look out for on the scooter platform is that it should be rough to prevent slipping when riding the scooter. Also, scooters with a broad base are most suitable for beginners and toddlers, as their manoeuvrability is lower. The length and height of the platform also matter; the longer it is, the more difficult it becomes to control the scooter. A high platform exerts unnecessary energy from a toddler especially and makes them tired easily even before they begin to ride.
The factors discussed above are the most basic factors to consider when choosing a scooter for your kid. However, there are other similarly important factors that should also be put into consideration including:
Not all scooters include a braking system, but I personally will recommend a scooter with a braking system especially for older kids during those downhill rides when they simply need to slow down a bit while cruising.
This answers the question of how long you want your child to be able to use the scooter or you probably want it passed on to a sibling.
Here, you consider factors like the scooter having an adjustable handlebar which can increase the length of time your child can use the scooter. Also, you need to be sure that the materials used to build such a scooter can withstand the wear and tear of constant usage for many years.