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The Mumsnet guide to scooter safety

Are you looking to buy a scooter for your child but have a few questions about safety? Never fear, we're here to help.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated Apr 11, 2024

Kids love scooters. Not only do the best scooters for kids help improve motor skills in young children, but they are a great way to get kids active and liven up the school run. And of course, whizzing along on a scooter is great fun too!

But without being a killjoy, safety is a top priority when children start scooting, whatever age they get their first set of wheels. So what do you need to consider before letting your child loose on the park or pavement? From choosing the right-sized scooter to wearing appropriate clothing, here is everything you need to know about scooter safety for kids.

1. Choose the right scooter

3stylescooters rgs-2 scooter

Before your child takes their first ride, it's crucial to select the appropriate scooter. Ensure that it's the right size for your child's height and weight. You may want to consider a scooter with adjustable handlebars or even an extending footboard (like the SmarTrike Xtend) to grow with your child.

You will also need to select a scooter that is appropriate for the age and ability of the child that you are buying for - are you buying a chunky three-wheeler for a preschooler or a hard-wearing stunt scooter for an older child to take to the skatepark? If you need some help deciding whether to plump for a two-wheeled or three-wheeled scooter, scooting experts Micro Scooters has produced a handy guide that you may find useful. And don’t forget to check out our guide to the best scooters for kids, packed full of advice and tried and tested recommendations from Mumsnetters. 

2. Wear protective gear

Just like when riding a bike or skateboard, protective gear is essential. This includes a properly fitting helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. These items can help prevent serious injuries in case of falls or collisions.

Helmets must fit properly, so make sure you measure your child’s head before you buy. Micro Scooters has a video on measuring for a helmet and another on checking for the correct fit, and you can find both of those here.

Read next: Best balance bikes: teach your preschooler to ride with confidence

3. Teach proper technique

Before hitting the pavement, teach your child the basics of scooter safety. This includes how to properly balance, steer, and brake. Emphasise the importance of staying aware of their surroundings and avoiding obstacles such as rocks, tree roots or uneven paving.

Read next: Best toddler reins to keep your little ones close

4. Supervise and set boundaries

Always supervise young children while they're scooting, especially near roads or driveways. Establish clear boundaries for where they can ride. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents says, “Scooters should not be used where they will cause danger, fear or inconvenience to other people, or danger to the scooter user.” Also be wary of hills, as scooters can pick up speed very quickly. 

Read next: Best kids’ bikes for 2024: top picks for children of every age

5. Practice in safe environments

Help your child start to hone their scooting skills in a controlled environment, such as the back garden or a quiet residential street. As your child gains confidence and skill, gradually introduce them to more challenging terrain, such as parks.

6. Avoid distracted riding

Discourage your child from using phones, headphones and other electronic devices while riding. Distractions can impair their ability to react to hazards or changes in their environment.

7. Stay visible

Flashing LED wheels come into their own when scooting on the school run on a grey morning. But light-up wheels alone aren’t enough to keep your child visible. Encourage them to wear bright or reflective clothing, especially when riding in low-light conditions. Adding reflective stickers to their scooter can also improve visibility, or you may want to consider putting a scooter light on there. 

Read next: Best outdoor toys: get your kids active with great toys and games for your garden

8. And finally…lead by example

Be a role model for your child by practicing safe scootering habits yourself. When cycling or scooting, wear protective gear and follow traffic rules to make sure the safety message really hits home.

For further information and advice, see RoSPA’s pages on toy safety and preventing accidents while out and about with the kids.

Looking for some first wheels for a toddler or preschooler? Check out our guide to the best trikes and best ride-on toys, as recommended by Mumsnet parents.

About the author

Laura Cooke is a Content Editor at Mumsnet, with a special focus on child’s play, outdoor play and toddler play content.

Laura started writing Swears By articles for Mumsnet in 2021, writing buyers' guides and product reviews to help Mumsnetters make informed choices when it comes to parting with their pennies.

Laura is also a freelance journalist and has written articles for publications including the Daily Mirror, the i, Metro, Stylist and Happiful magazine.