The age of four is definitely an exciting period for every parent. Your little one is no longer a toddler, which means it opens more opportunities for him/her to learn and hone various skills. And one of the activities that you can finally introduce your child to is riding the scooter.
Compared to bikes, scooters are more comfortable to travel with and store. They are also fast and safe to learn, and the various designs in the market make it easy to find the perfect match for your child. At the same time, your child gets to practice balance and coordination while having fun and developing confidence and independence.
But before you choose a scooter, here are some things to know:
Is Your Child Ready for a Scooter?
Every child is unique, so even though four-year-olds can ride a scooter because of their movement milestones, you should still assess your child if he/she is ready to try a scooter. For starters, your child might not be able to walk as steady yet. If so, it will be hard for him/her to balance a scooter.
Another thing worth noting is your child’s physical size as well. Depending on the model that you’re getting, it should be able to offer a range that includes your child’s height and weight. In terms of height range, most scooters in the market offer adjustable handlebars anyway. Therefore, you can just personalize its level to make it appropriate for your child’s current height.
If the scooter that you’ve got is too low or too high for your child, it’s best to wait until your child’s height is compatible with the level. His/her waist should be at the same level as the handlebar so that he/she is in a comfortable posture, and the scooter will be easy and safe to steer.
On the other hand, each scooter also has a weight limit, so that you can guarantee that it is safe and durable enough to withstand usage. You might also consider getting models with a wide range in these areas so that your child can enjoy his/her scooter longer as opposed to buying units without allowance in height and weight capacities.
What Type of Scooter is Suitable for a 4-Year-Old?
You can check on CuteLittleDarling the best scooters for four-year-old kids. As you might notice, all of them are three-wheel models. In general, we can classify scooters into two-wheel and three-wheel designs. For four-year-olds and beginner riders, the latter is going to be safer and more comfortable for them.
This is because the three-wheel design is already more steady compared to a two-wheel scooter. A three-wheel scooter already lessens the difficulty for someone who is still learning balance and coordination while riding. This is also great to prevent your preschooler from getting immediately frustrated when he/she is still learning how to ride.
You want your child to develop confidence and not feel intimidated when trying a scooter. And using something that is stable and slow enough will make the experience more fun and gentle. However, you might also notice that three-wheel scooters have two different designs as well.
One is where the scooter has two wheels at the front, while the other has two rear wheels instead. The easier one to use will be the former because there is no part that interferes with the feet as your child kicks the scooter. The latter will also make a good transition scooter before you ride a two-wheel scooter with a narrower deck.
Speaking of deck, consider getting your four-year-old a scooter with a wide and low deck. This way, he/she can fit both feet while riding, and the low distance above the ground makes it less likely for the scooter to get out of balance. You can also check models with anti-skid surfaces on the deck for improved traction. But if your child is still not confident about riding, there are scooters with removable seats so your child can ride while sitting.
And then, opt for a model with a lean-to-steer feature. Compared to your traditional handlebar steering, scooters that use lean-to-steer turns more gently. This helps the child get used to the directions until he/she is ready to try handlebar steering.
How to Make Scooters Safe for a 4-Year-Old?
Like with any other toy that we introduce to our kids, it’s crucial to assess the unit’s overall safety. Examine every part of the scooter if there is anything that protrudes or can cut accidentally. In relation to this, the durability of the construction also plays a significant role in safety. To make sure that no part will get detached or broken randomly and cause injuries, the general quality of the scooter should be top tier.
According to CuteLittleDarling, the scooters with quality shock absorption and brake system will always be safer than those with underwhelming qualities in these areas. Having excellent traction and suspension makes the ride smooth regardless of the terrain. And as for the brake, having it at the rear via a large and responsive foot pedal will make it easier for your child to slow down when necessary.
Besides the scooter itself, it’s also just as important for your child to use safety gear. Regardless of his/her protests, make sure your child is wearing a helmet that has passed safety standards. Your child should also wear elbow and knee pads to prevent injuries in these areas.
You can always look for safety gear that matches the design of your child’s scooter so that they are more enticing to wear. And it also helps to educate your child on the importance of wearing these things every time he/she is using the scooter. You can show him/her examples of videos that highlight the need for wearing safety gear.
Lastly, always supervise your child while riding. Avoid using the scooter during night time, and opt to ride on open and smooth surfaces only. Still, educate your child about the various road rules and how to avoid obstacles in addition to these precautions.