What Age Can My Child Start to use a Scooter?
Scooters look like so much fun, it's natural to want to get your child onto one asap! Especially when you're at the park, they see older kids (or siblings) tearing around on one, they naturally want a piece of the action! They are also very convenient and easily portable for use at home, holidays and visits to parks on the weekend.
The question is … what age is the most appropriate? You may hear others saying that their child was racing around on one at the age of 1! While possible it is not often this occurs. There are a few things that you need to factor in when deciding if and when your child is ready for their first scooter.
First things first, you will most certainly be looking at a three-wheel scooter to start with. Two wheel scooters are for older children with advanced balancing skills that can only come with age and experience. Three wheelers have the benefit of stabilizing the child's ride so they don't have to. Once they have mastered the skill of balance & coordination, that is when a 2-wheel scooter is on the horizon.
Most three wheel scooters have a recommended starting age of 3 years old. Why? Glad you asked! Height, weight and body size and level of gross motor skills are a few indicators you should look for. Every child is so different and will develop in different areas, at different times. Your child might be the perfect height and weight for a scooter but if they are yet to develop their gross motor skills and have only just mastered walking for example, it might pay to wait a bit longer.
Ideally what you are looking for, is for your child to be able to walk and run with stability and confidence. Height is also an important factor. The scooters all have a minimum height so if your child is too short, they won't be able to hold on, steer and navigate properly.
Keep in mind…
The other issue you face is that if YOU are so keen to get your child on a scooter and they aren't ready, you will end up with a very frustrated child. The scooter you so lovingly researched and purchased will be cast aside. It is very common for parents to be super excited for their child to reach the next level and it is something we see often at Casey's Toys. Trust us, your child will get there before you know it!
A product we recommend if you are unsure on whether they are quite there yet, is the Globber 4 in 1 Evo Scooter. The first stage of this remarkable product is the pushchair function with parent-controlled handle. The child can sit on the seat attachment and be pushed along happily while Mum & Dad do all the work. This stage is ideal for children 15 - 36 months and can cater for children up to 20kg.
Stage two is where the parent handle comes off and the child can remain on the seat and push themselves along at the pace they want. No more waiting for the grown-ups to get going. The last stage is where you swap the seat for the handle bar. Pop that on and you have yourself a scooter! The Globber also features height adjustment which will come in handy as your child grows.
If you are confident that your child is ready to head straight for the 3-wheel scooter, the Hyper Deluxe 3 Wheel Scooter is for you. It has a sturdy base with indentations to help little feet grip well, heel brake and height adjustment to cater for those inevitable sudden growth spurts.
Helmets, wrist guards, elbow & knee pads are HIGHLY recommended for this age. When a spill happens and yes, it certainly will happen! You want to minimise the damage by ensuring they are well protected. You want them to brush themselves off and get moving again. Top tips for fitting your knee and elbow guards is that they obviously have to be secured firmly enough to be a snug fit but not too tight.
Helmet fitting is important and you need to ensure you have purchased the correct size helmet for your child before you begin. Measure the circumference of your child's head from around the middle of the back of the child's head to the middle of the forehead. Use this measurement to guide you through your purchase.
Okay you have the correct size helmet, now let's pop it on and get scootering. The helmet has to sit horizontally on your child's head. If the helmet sits too far back, then it leaves the forehead exposed to injury in the event of an accident. Conversely if the helmet sits too far forward, then the back of the head is exposed to injury.
Once resting in place, clip the strap in place under the chin. There should be one finger space of room between the chin and strap. The side straps of the helmet should also sit correctly in place, with a V shape formed either side of the ears. Once you have checked all these areas, it is time to tighten as required if your helmet has a dial at the back. The litmus test to see if the helmet is in place as it should be - is when you ask the child to wobble their head. If the helmet moves, adjust as required. If the helmet stays in place you are good to go.
For all your scootering advice and to try one out, head into your local Casey's Toys or browse online here