Taking falls and tumbles from bikes and scooters is all part of learning. There are bound to be some accidents along the way, scraped knees and elbows and a few bruises. It is important to know how to keep your kids safe when learning to ride, and continuing to ride their balance bikes and scooters. There are 3 main items to tick off your list:
- The right safety gear
- Riding in appropriate locations
Choosing the Right Safety Gear for Balance Bikes and Scooters
There are minimum safety standards when it comes to helmets. Look for the Australian standards label to ensure it is compliant with the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2063:2008. If not, leave it behind and find one that is. A good helmet ensures that your child's head is protected from falls and any impacts.
The Right Fit
When fitting your child's helmet, be sure to take them with you to ensure the correct fit. Try and push the helmet front, back and sideways to see if it moves. If there is too much movement once the straps are fastened, then the helmet is too big. A snug fit is best where the helmet won't move around.
Buy New Where Possible
Always opt for a new helmet, not a secondhand one. You never know if it has been involved in any previous accidents and therefore the condition is compromised. If you have an accident or impact with your existing helmet, always replace it for a new one.
Elbow and knee pads
The main consideration for elbow and knee pads is to buy good quality ones that are the right size and fit for your child. Good quality pads will enable free movement and won't constrict them or be uncomfortable.
Once your child is set with the right safety gear, the next step is to teach them in a suitable environment. Head somewhere quiet like a cul-de-sac or low key park for the littlies to start learning. Try and find a level surface free from bumps and that doesn't have too much incline. Starting on grass is always a good option as it provides a soft landing place for falls.
Once your child has learned their new found skill, be sure to instil the road safety rules. Teach them the basic road rules so you can be confident they can cross roads when required.
Be a Good Role Model
It is all very well to teach our kids about bike and scooter safety, but remember, they learn from what they see. Be a good role model to your kids and wear your own safety gear hen heading off for family rides and scoots. Practice what you preach!