Scooters have been around since the 1950s. There have been advancements in their designs and specs in order to make them lightweight and popular. There is even electric scooter for kids.
On a sad note, they have also become the cause of fatal accidents. They are behind the increase in injuries and accidents. Those affected most are boys below the age of 15. Most injuries include fractures, cuts, strains, bruises and sprains.
The hand is the most affected body part, followed by the head, leg and foot. There have even been deaths from scooter accidents.
How then do you protect your child?
1. Use a Helmet
A helmet is very important when it comes to safety. It prevents head injuries and could save from serious harm during a fall. The law in most states also demands the use of a helmet while riding a scooter.
It is a good practice to make your child wear one. There is a range of children helmets. Some even have bright colors and fun designs to appeal to the kids. You can therefore find a right fit for your child.
2. Use protective gear for hands, knees and elbows
As obvious as this safety requirement sounds, do not ignore it. The hands, knees and elbows are among the first parts to touch the ground when the child falls. You can find easy slip-ons for these parts in the shops.
The child can keep these in a backpack, locker or desk when not using them. Other parts also have protective gear but it is not as critical.
3. Dress them in appropriate shoes
Shoes serve additional functionality besides being a fashion accessory. They shield the feet from stray wheels and other random danger on the ground. The feet are at risk of being poked, cut or tickled.
The best shoes while riding a scooter are closed shoes that have a thick sole. They should also protect the ankle. If you are one of those parents allowing kids to ride scooter in sandals, flip-flops and flimsy sandals, it is about time you reconsider this.
4. Consider the weight and height of the child
The weight and height of the child also counts while considering the safety of the ride. Scooters are different and suit different heights and weights. It has to be able to handle the mass and height of your kid safely.
The right scooter is safer than a disproportional one. The manufacturers provide the safety recommendations based on the child’s age. They consider an average height and weight for the given age. However, not all kids fall within the said range.
5. Train the kids properly
Your kids will be safer riding that scooter when they are confident about using it. They should be able to stop suddenly. They need to handle high traffic areas such as make quick stops, make fast turns, and avoid hitting the elderly.
They can start slow on the practice while focusing on areas that are easy to ride before extending other areas of operation. They should practice on the paved parking or driveway first. In addition, they should master how to interact with other road users.
The safety measures that apply to scooters also apply to bicycling and in-line skating. Many injuries can be prevented or lessened by following the safety guidelines above. Helmets shield from about 85 percent of the likely injuries to the head. Elbow pads prevent about 80 percent injuries while knee pads prevent about 30 percent.