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Pfb or just sensible? Toddlers scooting next to roads.

(75 Posts)
CatsRidingRollercoasters Sun 26-Mar-17 19:51:27

I don't think iabu but would be interested to hear what others think. My dd has just turned 3. She has a scooter and a bike and we take one of them with us when we go to the park (we go most days). She also rides them a lot in the garden but doesn't have brilliant control of either yet. We live a 5 minute walk from the park and I don't let her ride the scooter/bike until we get there. I wedge it somewhere on/under ds's buggy which I'm always pushing. She walks along holding my hand.

Until recently she's always been quite happy to walk along holding hands, but lately she's been getting upset because I won't let her ride from the house like her friends all do. This is the problem. All of our friends with 2 and 3 year olds let them ride along the pavement, including when the adult is also pushing a younger sibling in a buggy. They go quite far ahead - several houses - and are often out of sight around bends.

We live in the suburbs. Most houses have driveways which cars can come out of unexpectedly. We have to cross 4 roads to get to the park, one of which is a zebra crossing on a busy bend.

Am I being precious or are my friends too relaxed, or something in between? I'm really curious to know what others think.

In the park I let her go as far and as fast as she wants, as long as I can see her. AIBU?

Wellthen Sun 26-Mar-17 19:54:42

Until she has real control then in imho yanbu. If you weren't pushing a buggy it would be a bit different but with a buggy you can't sprint after her down a hill or reach out to stop her falling off the kerb.

MissJSays Sun 26-Mar-17 19:55:48

With a 2 or 3 year old no, I certainly wouldn't be letting them ride off ahead for obvious (to me) reasons. Depending on how confident she is on them, id let her ride along beside me down the quiet streets but not on a busy main road.
I work in childcare so can often be a little over cautious, but I'd say that's fine.

minionsrule Sun 26-Mar-17 19:56:22

I think you are being perfectly reasonable - if she scoots too close to the kerb there are dangers there especially, losing balance, cars pulling in to park on the kerb, and yes driveways are a hazard. I wouldn't back down on this one yet, maybe when she is a bit older

Finola1step Sun 26-Mar-17 19:57:42

You are spot on IMO. Pre schoolers, scooters, driveways and buggy pushing does not maketh a good mix. Stick to your guns on this one.

Feelinglikeafailure Sun 26-Mar-17 19:58:35

You let her go fast and as far as she likes in the park. So she can control the scooter then.

Personally I have always let mine ride on the pavement from about that age. But they go slow and next to me.

NoAprilFool Sun 26-Mar-17 19:58:38

I let my 3 year old do it but, and this is a big but, I'm not pushing a buggy. I never let her get further than I can sprint to her before a junction. She has great control and, touch wood, has always stopped at roads but I wouldn't be comfortable with it if I couldn't easily reach her.

Thisisjustbetweenus Sun 26-Mar-17 20:01:52

YANBU - I always used a scooter lead with mine when we were by the road. They can scoot but not get ahead and it's also very handy for helping them up hills or if they get tired. Here's an example:

Ethelswith Sun 26-Mar-17 20:02:20

I think you are being very sensible.

I live near a school and saw a terrifying 'near miss'. It's dangerous for the DC (and pretty damned unpleasant for everyone else in the pavement).

If a young DC has not got sufficient control (both physical skill and thinking about safety) to scoot only within arms reach, they are probably not ready to be scooting on pavements next to roads.

CatsRidingRollercoasters Sun 26-Mar-17 20:05:12

I do let her go for it in the park, but she falls off fairly often. She's not controlled enough to stop safely as soon as I shout out. She doesn't have adequate road sense though. She isn't able to judge if a car is about to reverse or she's too close to the kerb, for example.

Thanks - glad I'm not the only one who thinks this! I'll keep sticking to my guns.

My friends are starting to question why I don't just let her ride, and it is really difficult to explain it to her when her friends are all doing it and she's not allowed.

HumphreyCobblers Sun 26-Mar-17 20:11:02

You are right to stop her doing it. It gives me such a horrible feeling when I see three year olds scooting ahead of their parents.

It is like not having a fireguard because 'I have taught them fires are dangerous'. Yes, that may well be, but it doesn't guard against bloody falling over, does it? Or making an error of judgement that results in an accident?

People are taking massive risks letting their dc do this.

Chottie Sun 26-Mar-17 20:14:54

OP - you are right. My heart is in my mouth when watching little ones scoot ahead, round the corner and out of sight. The mothers are strolling along behind, on the phone, chatting and oblivious....

CatsRidingRollercoasters Sun 26-Mar-17 20:16:17

Thisisjustbetweenus thanks for the link! I'm going to order one smile

Yura Sun 26-Mar-17 20:17:16

We let ours scoot, but use a scooter leash and reins.

Trifleorbust Sun 26-Mar-17 20:18:48

I wouldn't let my 3 year old scoot ahead of me on a residential road with driveways. They don't understand about people backing in or reversing out and they are too small to assume the driver will see them and stop. YANBU.

SheepyFun Sun 26-Mar-17 20:19:28

For me, it depends on the child. If I had your child, I'd make the decision you have. For us, DD is an only (so no buggy while scooting), and until she was almost 4, didn't have the confidence to scoot faster than I could walk (she is a bit slow gaining physical skills - currently very slow on a balance bike). Now she can scoot faster, but is very good at waiting at roads. Her natural cautiousness, ironically, means I'm happy for her to do things that I wouldn't allow a more confident child to do. YANBU smile

Secretescape Sun 26-Mar-17 20:19:53

You are right to be cautious near roads and other people. Just this weekend I saw a 21/2 - 3 year old child scooting really far ahead of their dad. He suddenly realized that she was going straight towards the road. It was a pedestrianised area that leads into the road with no kerb/ obvious junction (if toddlers were even to take notice of that).
I was too far away to stop her so screamed out "someone stop that child" and a lady grabbed her. The dad was running but didn't shout out.
I had my heart in my mouth!
My DTwins always scoot near to us with helmets on and are given clear stop points. Eg stop by the bus stop, wait at the road and they are 6!

RoganJosh Sun 26-Mar-17 20:21:45

You could always tell your friends that she isn't safe? So make out that she has gone into the road before or something.

Miniwookie Sun 26-Mar-17 20:22:43

If she is so keen, could you not let her scoot on the strict condition that she stays next to you or the scooter goes back on the buggy. I love walking with a preschooler on a scooter because you can go a nice brisk pace and gets some exercise. You can walk between her and the road for safety.

CatsRidingRollercoasters Sun 26-Mar-17 20:23:36

Chottie - yes exactly. It's the oblivious chatting from the parents as they stroll along! I've heard friends vaguely calling ahead to their 2 year olds to not go too fast, as the 2yo completely ignores them and continues hurtling along.

Any ideas on how to explain this to dd without making my friends look bad? Up till now I've said that I can't keep up with her because of the buggy, the road is not safe because of the fast cars, she might accidentally hit the other people using the pavement etc. The trouble is that she now questions it in front of our friends. "Mummy, you said it's not safe. Why is X allowed etc?" Ah the joys of the plain speaking toddler grin

skincarejunkie Sun 26-Mar-17 20:25:19

I'm with you. It scares the life out of me seeing little children even running ahead on roads. You just can't rely on the judgement of a toddler. If you could, they'd be able to vote. Mine are older and I still hold hands on roads. With me roadside. So the car hits me first, I suppose.

DrAbbyYates Sun 26-Mar-17 20:25:32

YANBU. My 3.5 yr old has very good scooter control but we use a scooter lead on the pavement next to traffic.

AlmaMartyr Sun 26-Mar-17 20:27:58

Very sensible. I hate seeing little ones do this. There's a road near us that loads of kids scoot off down, but I always think it takes one stumble and they're in the road. I'm fairly chill about lots of things but it makes me shudder. Lots of my friends let their kids do it though so it can make it awkward.

Breadwidow Sun 26-Mar-17 20:29:51

I think this is situ of needs must - when you have a second baby in the buggy & a 2/3 year old on a scooter they go a bit further and you cannot do much. You can use a sling for a bit and a buggy board or get a double but all are slightly awkward. You do what works. I live in central London so don't have a big drive ways issue but my eldest has been scooting ahead since he was about 3, just how it happened

Pseudonym99 Sun 26-Mar-17 20:30:05

Better to be over cautious than under cautious. But I don't think you're being over cautious.

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