The kick scooter for your child: how to choose the right one
As soon as summer arrives, we start seeing scooters absolutely everywhere! These lightweight constructions are driven by children of all ages: from very little ones to high school students. Therefore, it is quite predictable that your child will sooner or later start asking to have their own scooter. And if you do not know how to choose a children’s scooter and are generally unsure whether it is worth buying it at all, bear in mind that this means of transportation is said to be one of the safest ones for a child. The most important aspect here is to know how to choose the right one for your son or daughter.
- Does your child need a kick scooter?
- The different types of scooters: how to choose the one
- How to select the best scooter for your child
- The ranking of the best children scooters
- Instructions and safety measures
Does your child need a kick scooter?
A scooter for children combines 3 functions at once: it serves as a means of transportation, it engages the child in the same way as a toy, and it provides physical training just like a sports machine. And if you are a supporter of an active lifestyle and of ‘smart’ ways to exercise- a scooter will certainly come in handy for your children.
Starting from what age can it be used?
The first scooter for a child can be bought when the baby learns to stand firmly on their feet and to walk decently, which in most cases happens by the age of 1.5-2 years old. If the child is scared of this unusual way to move around, it is better to postpone acquaintance with a scooter for later. For the time being, as an alternative for until the baby has grown up, you can choose a scooter with a seat or a model designed for both of you – the adult and the child.
The benefits and the issues
Riding a scooter, like any other form of moderate physical activity, has a beneficial effect on the health and development of children:
- the person riding a scooter has almost all of their muscle groups engaged and the amount of energy consumed is three times larger compared to riding a bicycle;
- it strengthens the heart and the blood vessels, acting as a preventative measure to Dysautonomia, the disease that starts manifesting itself in early childhood and may significantly decrease the quality of life of an adult.
- when riding a scooter, the child switches their focus of attention regularly, shifting their gaze from the closest to more distant points, and this serves as good training for their vision and their concentration;
- it promotes better functioning of the lungs;
- it is highly effective in developing coordination. For example, for children over two years of age, who fall over frequently, cannot stop when needed whilst they’re moving, and are not able to stand on one leg – pediatricians suggest doing exercises aimed at developing coordination, and these exercises can be replaced or complemented with riding a scooter.
The only potential harm that a scooter may bring is the risk of falling over on it. However, the same risk exists when rollerblading or cycling, as well as with almost any other form of physical activity. And if we take into account the features of their construction – falling from a scooter that is very close to the ground at a low speed will certainly be less traumatic than, for example, the same accident on a fast-riding bicycle.
There is a myth among parents that children’s scooters provoke the appearance of scoliosis due to an increased load on a single part of the body while riding. Those reservations are partially true: unilateral loads can have a negative effect on the spine, however, according to orthopedists, riding a scooter even on a daily basis, cannot trigger scoliosis on its own. Moreover, helping the child to make this load more uniform is very easy – just teach them to alternate between the right and the left leg when riding.
The different types of scooters: how to choose the one
The age factor
The models of scooters vary in terms of the number of wheels and their purpose. When choosing a scooter for your son or daughter, first of all, take their age into account:
- the 4-wheeler will suit the child that has recently learned how to walk (the age of 1.5-3 years old). The construction is as stable as it can be, however, they are not designed to sustain large weights;
- the 3-wheeler is the most popular type of scooter for children of 3-5 years old, however, there some models that can carry up to 110lbs, exist as well.
- Models with 2 front wheels sustain the balance very well and are aimed at children who are not yet very at ease with the scooters;
- The option with the two wheels on the back spread wide apart, allows for more maneuver and will suit the child that already has some experience of riding the scooter;
- Another option is a 3-wheel scooter with two rear wheels that are placed close to each other. It is safer than other options due to the fact that the construction makes it impossible to get caught in the wheels, however, it is harder to drive. They are a nice fit for a child with good coordination.
- the 2-wheeler is aimed at children no younger than 5 years old. It is less stable than the 3- and 4-wheelers. In addition to that, they are normally made from metal, therefore, their weight is normally slightly higher. It is better to purchase a 2-wheel scooter for your children when the child’s coordination is already developed, when they have enough strength to hold a relatively heavy piece of equipment and when they already have some experience with riding a scooter with 3 wheels.
For kids younger than 3 years old, there are 3 types of 3-wheel kick scooters:
- kickboards — they resemble skateboards in terms of control: the vehicle changes direction depending on which side the child’s weight is shifting;
- triders — they are equipped with two separate platforms for the feet – in order to move around, which makes it easy to shift the bodyweight between the decks;
- transformers with a seat and a special handle for parents — a means of transportation for the most little ones. The handle is easy to hold if the child gets tired and wants to take a seat; the height of the scooter can be adjusted in accordance with the child’s growth.
The usage factor
In terms of the usage, there is normally a distinction drawn between the 2- and the 3-wheel scooters that are aimed at teenagers and grown-ups:
- city — designed especially for riding the city streets; they balance out well on uneven surfaces, and are easy to manipulate;
- off-road — made to be able to move around on more complex surfaces, including rougher terrains. The diameter of the front wheel is comparable to the one on the bicycle; the frame of such scooters is durable, and most models are equipped with front and rear brakes;
- for sports— designed only for good roads: the wheels don’t have additional balancing mechanisms, however, they are strong and are suitable for performing tricks;
- triders – a stable construction that allows to go at a moderate speed and is equipped with a wide deck that allows placing both feet on it;
- inertial — they develop quite a fast speed due to the inertia force: the rider alternates between the bodyweight of one or two separate platforms for the legs, and if necessary, engages their lower body;
- electric scooters — they may go as fast as 15mph, their battery allows them to be operating non-stop for over 60 minutes.
Whilst aiming at being non-trivial, the manufacturers of scooters come up with more and more unusual types of scooters, such as models that have sparkles coming from underneath the wheels, scooters that have a treadmill option, and stroller scooters developed for young mothers.
Do not worry when the child goes for a ride with friends or drives away from you far. The “Find My Kids” app allows you to track the location of a young athlete in real-time, even if the child is lost from sight. Download the app from GooglePlay and AppStore.
How to select the best scooter for your child
When choosing a truly good scooter for your son or daughter, pay particular attention to the following these highly important criteria:
- the quality and the construction of the wheels;
- the material from which the body of the scooter is constructed;
- the comfort of the deck;
- the weight and the size;
- the convenience of the handlebar, and the presence of brakes;
- the option to fold the body of the scooter.
However, those factors are not always proportional to the price of the scooter – it is surely possible to purchase a very good value product for a good price.
The quality and wheel construction
Scooters for children are most often equipped with plastic or rubber wheels, and sometimes with wheels made from polyurethane.
- The option with plastic wheels will be suitable only for children below the age of three: plastic is a material with zero shock-absorbing features, hence, it is comfortable for slower rides.
- Older kids should choose models with rubber or polyurethane wheels — this will enable them to ride at quite high speeds, without having to stop at every small bump:
- polyurethane wheels have got the same shock-absorbing features like the rubber ones and do not require to be re-inflated;
- rubber wheels require regular pumping, however, scooters with such wheels are significantly cheaper than the polyurethane ones.
What also matters is the size of the wheels: it is convenient to ride on even surfaces on scooters with small wheels, whereas large wheels allow you to overcome some minor obstacles on the road without any issues, such as pits, humps, and cracks.
If you want to buy the most stable scooter – choose from models with widely spread rear wheels, but if speed is more important to you – on the contrary, give preference to modifications with wheels that are positioned close to each other.
The material from which the body (the steering column) of the scooter is made
The plastic frame is lightweight, however, it deteriorates fairly quickly. The metal steering column is heavier, but also more durable, and if you are planning to buy a scooter that your child can use for several years, opt for the metal body.
The foot decks vary in width, length, and height on different scooter models. The most stable options have a wide deck. A short leg platform, of around 16 inches long, is more maneuverable than a long one, and the low positioning of the platform makes it much easier to control the scooters: the child will not have to put too much effort in when pushing it.
For safe skating, the surface of the platform should not be smooth to the touch, it should be rather rough; it can have rubberized tabs or anti-slip stickers placed on it.
The weight and the size
The greater the weight of the scooter, the greater load it can withstand. However, lightweight constructions are said to be safer. A child is risking of injuring themselves with a scooter that is too heavy. On the other hand, a very light scooter may last for only one season. The optimal weight of a children’s scooter is 4-6 pounds and not more than 9 pounds.
The size of the scooter should correspond to the height of the child: when the child is standing on the deck, the handle should be at their chest level. If you would like the scooter to serve you for more than one year, choose the model which has the option of modifying the height of the handle.
The handlebar and the brakes
In addition to the ability to adjust, the steering handle must meet two other requirements: to be covered with anti-slip coating and to be equipped with soft comfortable pads.
For children who are just learning to ride a scooter, models with a foot brake will be more convenient. For those who are already familiar with the process, a hand brake is preferable.
The option of folding the body of the scooter
If the convenience of storage and the ease of transportation is highly important to you, choose the scooter that has got a folding mechanism.
The most reliable models have a fastening screw: when the screw is removed, the scooter is folded and stored or transported in the compact form without having the risk of losing any parts.
There are some scooters that can fold automatically with the click of a button – this mechanism is convenient, however, it represents the risk of losing some parts.
A short guide to selecting the right scooter:
- the wheels should be selected according to the age of the child; plastic wheels are good for a baby under the age of three years old. For older children the best wheels would be made from rubber or polyurethane;
- verify the strength of the product: the parts of the scooter should not be hanging around;
- choose a scooter with a non-slip handlebar that is adjustable in terms of the height;
- for safety, it is better if the brake works on the rear wheel – this reduces the chance of falling over;
- if you have the imperative need to store the scooter in a compact form- opt for a folding model.
The ranking of the best children scooters
The table below presents a ranking of the best scooters for children that are categorized according to different age groups and to special features of each of them. Each category contains two options: the best one and the best low-cost one.
|Below 3 years old||3-4 years old||4-5 years old||5-6 years old||For children over the age of 7||Electric scooters|
|Skip Hop Kids — $59.99, Globber Go Up 4 in 1 Lights – $119.99||Razor JR 3-Wheel Lil Rock — $24.96, Globber Elite Prime – $109.99||Gomo 3-Wheel Kids’ — $59.99, Bird Birdie — $129.99.||Jetson Jupiter Kids’ – $29.99, Micro Kickboard Maxi 3 Original — $129.99.||Y-Volution Kids’ Neon Ghost LED — $49.99, Razor A5 Air Kick — $129.99.||Razor E300 — $249.99, Urbanglide Ride 80XL – $315.|
Here are some details about every model mentioned above:
Below 3 years old
For adventurous kids below the age of 3 years old, the Globber Go Up 4 in 1 Lights would be the perfect scooter to start their exciting journey. It was built to be safe and durable, as well as to be highly adjustable with its moving handlebar and an option to not only use it as a scooter, but also as a ride-on and a walking bike, which makes it a super good investment for parents.
- Average price — $119.99.
Children below 3 years old can be introduced to this means of transportation in the best way with the Skip Hop Kids – a scooter that provides a very fun riding experience. The scooter has got a seating space that can be removed later on as the child learns the mechanics of riding the scooter. Moreover, it allows kids to play when on board with its option of melodies, effects, and headlights.
- Average price — $59.99.
3-4 years old
The best for 3-4-year-olds is the Globber Elite Prime, a scooter with a special patented elliptic system, a large rear brake, and a unique curved handlebar with an easier and more comfortable grip.
- Average price — $109.99.
3-4-year-olds are able to enjoy a great Razor JR 3-Wheel Lil Rock scooter at a fantastic price. The scooter has got a comfortable deck and is available in various colors for girls and boys. It is highly stable and secure. It allows kids to become very good at riding scooters.
- Average price— $24.96.
4-5 years old
The best choice for 4-5 years old is the Bird Birdie — a scooter with both sleek and durable design available in 3-4 stunning matte color options. It has an ultrawide footboard and grip, a non-slip grip on the handle, and an adjustable steering column. It is both lightweight and firm on the ground. A highly practical scooter.
- Average price— $129.99.
For 4-5-year-olds, the best model on a budget would be the Gomo 3-Wheel Kids’ with its nylon frame and a patented ‘Lean+Turn’ steering system, which allows kids to master the art of riding a scooter from a very young age. The wheels are made from polyurethane, hence, they are more durable and offer a better shock absоrbtion.
- Average price — $59.99.
5-6 years old
The best option from our selection for 5-6-year-olds is the Micro Kickboard Maxi 3 Original. It is easily adjustable, foldable for extra convenience, and is available in a selection of lovely colors. In addition to that, it has also got a light, yet durable plastic frame. This scooter provides the smoothest and quietest ride in this age segment.
- Average price — $129.99.
The best value option for 5-6-year-olds is the Jetson Jupiter Kids’. This scooter has got a very unique design that really stands out from the crowd: it has more than 100 LED lights integrated into its various parts. Moreover, it has got a very useful rear foot brake and easy folding design.
- Average price — $29.99.
7 years old and up
For children of 7 years old and up, the best choice is the Razor A5 Air Kick which can be used not solely on very flat surfaces in the city. It has special anti-rattle handles and extra-long deck wheels.
- Average price — $129.99.
For children older than 7 years old, the best saver option is the Y-Volution Kids’ Neon Ghost LED with its highly adjustable handlebars, wide rear brakes, and unusual and fun design with color control operated from a push of a button.
- Average price— $49.99.
The best electric scooters
The best-selected option for electric scooters would be the Urbanglide Ride 80XL with an ergonomically designed frame, a very comfortable handlebar, and a great possibility to maneuver. Very quiet and easy to ride.
- Average price — $315.
The best saver option for electric scooters would be the Razor E300 which is aimed mainly at 13+ year olds, has good shock absorbers, a convenient supersize deck, and frame, and twist-grip acceleration control. Goes as fast as 11mph, the charge lasts up to 1 hour of riding.
- Average price — $249.99.
Instructions and safety measures
Instructions for using the scooter:
- assemble it according to the instructions provided in the set;
- inflate the wheels if there are made from rubber;
- make sure that all of the parts are screwed on tightly and check that the brakes are functioning properly;
- help your child to identify which leg they will be using more to push themselves to ride, depending on their convenience. Left-handed people usually find it easier to do this with the right leg, whereas it is vice versa for right-handed people.
- the correct position of the body when riding a scooter is a straight back or leaning forward slightly;
- the leg that is pushing off should be placed on the deck as soon as the desired speed is reached;
- the steering column and handle turns smoothly when moving;
- it is best to stop with the push-off leg by using the rear brake.
Safety rules when using a scooter:
- purchase some safety gear for your child: a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pieces, as well as protective wrist gloves.
- the child needs to wear appropriate footwear – closed shoes with thick soles. This would reduce the risk of a potential injury;
- first of all, teach your child to use the brake, explain that jumping from a scooter on-the-go instead of braking, is dangerous and may cause injury;
- avoid riding on slippery or wet roads – it will be difficult for the child to cope with their scooter on such surfaces;
- if the child is riding on the scooter around the city by themselves – explain to them that they can only ride along sidewalks and pedestrian areas;
- the steering handle must be held with two hands at all times;
- check how firmly the parts of the scooter are held against each other and whether the brakes work well on a regular basis.
We invite all parents to learn more about our material Summer safety for children: water, insects, and sun, to be on the alert and tell their children about the rules.
Not every child has a natural flair for sports. And not every single one of them is able to achieve great results in this domain. Nevertheless, taking into account the sedentary lifestyle of modern children, it can be said that some physical exercise is a must today. Even if the child is not very good at sports – the scooter will become a very good solution for them – riding it does not put too much of a physical load on the child and allows them to maintain a good shape. And if you keep your child company while riding a scooter, you may perhaps have a new family hobby!