Are Three Wheel Scooters Safe for Toddlers? Posted in: Kids Scooters – Tags: are 3 wheel scooters safe?, are three wheel scooters safe?
One of the most common playthings a kid would ask from their parents is the kick scooter. It shouldn’t be a surprise, because when we were kids, riding a scooter was so much fun. Riding it outside on a sunny day makes for a tremendous recreational activity, especially with friends.
For parents, it is also a joyful experience to watch their kids have fun and exercise their psycho-motor skills. Depending on the age and skill of the child, there are different types of kick scooters to accommodate them. One is the traditional two-wheel scooter, and another is the three-wheel scooter.
Is a Toddler Ready for a Three-Wheel Scooter?
A Three-Wheel Scooter is one type of kick scooter that is safe for toddlers to ride on, compared to two-wheelers. With two wheels on either the back or the front, children can play without being scared that they’d fall off balance.
A toddler’s balance is still pretty delicate, so playing on a two-wheeled kick scooter is a risky activity. The three-wheeler negates that concern because its triangular wheel positioning allows the kid to focus on their surroundings.
Types of Three-Wheel Scooters
There are two main sub types of three-wheeled kick scooters: the Two-Front Wheeler and the Two-Rear Wheeler.
Two-Front Wheels – It is the most common type of three-wheeled scooter. The reason for this is because it is engaging yet accessible for toddlers to use. This kind of kick scooter relies on the physics of leaning to change direction. For example, if the rider leans to the left, they will automatically steer towards the left. This style of maneuver helps toddlers practice their balance in changing directions: essential preparation for scooters with only two wheels.
Two-Rear Wheels – Opposite of the two-front, the stability of the two-rear wheeler lies on its back. Compared to its lean-to-steer counterpart, it relies on being turned like a bicycle to move sideways. It is simpler and is more limited than the two-front wheeler, but it is more stable and can be used by young and inexperienced toddlers.
Other types of kick scooters serve as variations of the primary two sub types. They are the Two-Front Wheeler (Bicycle Steer) and the V-Shape Rear-Wheeler. Unique to the V-Shape is its movement powered by hip motion: closely resembling the famous baby swing cars.
Reasons for Buying Three Wheel Scooters
Physical and Mental Exercise
Riding a three-wheeled scooter exercises the toddler’s leg muscles and boosts their confidence in riding any toy vehicle. Outdoor Activity: Scooting is a fun, recreational activity to do outside: especially with family and friends.
First Step Towards the Two-Wheeled Scooter: Mastering the three-wheeled scooter is the stepping stone for kids before trying to ride the two-wheeled scooter.
Fun Activity to Do: To put it simply, kids love doing things fun. Riding a scooter is one of the most enjoyable activities kids and their parents can participate in.
Things to Consider When Buying a Three Wheel Scooter
Your child needs to be protected at all times and you need to make some considerations when buying their first three-wheeled scooter. Here’s what you need to know.
The Child’s Size: There are three-wheeled scooters that vary in size to suit a certain age group. Some scooters, though, have adjustable handlebars that can accommodate children of any size.
Motor Skills of the Child: Parents must take note of their toddler’s capability in maneuvering toy vehicles like the scooter. With this, they can determine whether the child can use lean-to-steer pedals or not.
Familiarity with the Scootering: Getting used to riding three-wheeled scooters helps prepare the toddler for more advanced vehicles when they grow bigger.
Since safety is a parent’s first priority, you need to practice some safety measures when you let your child ride their scooter. Here are some helpful safety measures to add to your checklist before playtime.
Brakes: Brakes are an absolute must in a scooter. Easy-to-initiate brakes will help toddlers make an emergency stop, so they need to learn how to use them before starting to ride.
Folding: A kick scooter that can fold is useful for travel. It is also efficient space-wise because they can be put away when not in use.
Steering Mechanism: Steering is an essential skill a toddler must learn to develop their maneuverability. They should start with the bicycle handlebar before they move to the lean-to-steer mechanism.
Wheels: Different kinds of scooter wheels accommodate diverse terrain. Regular wheels are made for urban surfaces while bigger ones move on the rough, off-road surfaces.
Adjustable Handlebars: A kick scooter with an adjustable handlebar will allow your child to ride as they grow continuously. Make sure that the handle is comfortable to grip as well for your child’s convenience.
Weight Capacity: While different kick scooters have varying weight limits, some are very strong for their size and can lend itself to durability.
Durability: Make sure to buy a scooter that is sturdy enough for your child to use for years. Even better if the item has a warranty.
How to Ride a Three-Wheel Scooter
Gear up: Before starting, make sure the toddler has their safety equipment (helmet, shin guard, elbow pads, etc.).
Test the Scooter: The brakes must be tested to see if they work well. Also, check all the screws if they are wound up nice and tight.
Check Your Surroundings: Make sure that there are no obstacles or people that kids might potentially bump on top while moving.
Start Off Slowly: Toddlers must take baby steps in moving the scooter to build confidence. They will learn to pick up speed on their own: just ask parents who had to chase them.
Practice Steering: Kids might find it easier to learn maneuvering with the lean-to-steer type kick scooters. For bicycle steering, young kids might need assistance for them to know how to turn sideways.
Test the Brakes: Kids who just started practicing must learn how to stop their kick scooters. Either they press on the rear wheel brake, or they use their foot to slow the kick scooter down.
Safe to Ride?
Even with toddler-friendly mechanics, it is still essential to consider taking safety precautions when introducing your toddler their 3 wheel scooters. Let’s face it kids fall, so helmets and elbow/knee pads are a must to minimize injury.
Brand quality, in addition to warranty, will help ensure the purchasing of a high quality three wheel scooter. Once considering all these factors and making an informed decision your toddler will have a safe and fun experience riding their three-wheeled kick scooter.