As Christmas is fast approaching and my wife and I still haven’t purchased a “centerpiece” gift for our 2 year old son I saw an add from our local Big 5 Sporting Goods store advertising a “toddler scooter” on sale for $29.99.
The scooter was a bit smaller than ordinary aluminum scooters and it was made of plastic. This obviously helps keep costs lower and minimizes the potential for injury should a child fall off of it.
What really made it a good scooter for the little ones though is that it didn’t have a front wheel that turned like regular scooters. Instead it had a double front wheel and the whole scooter turned by leaning to one side or the other. In some ways it is a lot like a small toddler sized skateboard with a handle.
But it got me thinking – are scooters safe for toddlers? Can little kids ride scooters safely?
I didn’t really think so prior to me seeing that ad. I had never even considered getting my son a scooter before that but since then I’ve done some thinking on the matter.
This article from the Baltimore Sun brings to light the popularity of the scooter with parents and their kids and highlights the huge amount of injuries that occur but their opening points refer mostly to the use of 2 wheel scooters in the street by kids not wearing helmets.
The scooter I was looking at would be three wheeled and would not be used in the street as I would be monitoring my son’s use of it at all times.
In all honesty I can’t argue with the vast majority of medical folk who say that scooters for younger kids are dangerous but that’s why I would only consider starting my son off with a training scooter that I monitored his use of at all times.
Parentdish puts it the way I can relate to. They say “kids on scooters need to be taught safety over reckless speed”. From a young age this can be instilled on them like no other time in their lives.
I’m most likely going to be buying the three wheeler I saw in the store but I’m going to definitely be only pulling the scooter out for my son if he wears knee pads, elbow pads, and a properly sized helmet. Teaching this stuff early has to be the best way to keep him safe.