Are e-scooters safe for children?
Parents are understandably worried about the safety of their children. This is what may have led you to seek information about how safe they are. Every day, we are moving towards a world where electric vehicles, e-bikes, and e-scooters are becoming the norm. it is then only fair for you as a parent to wonder, are e-scooters safe for children?
As a good parent, you are concerned about the traffic. You also worry when you imagine your kid falling off and injuring themselves. Fractures are not quite common for kids who ride scooters if they are careful enough.
Traffic in the cities is very crazy. This is why e-scooters are worth it. It is very stressful to watch your children leave for a ride, whether they are alone or with peers.
So, are electric scooters safe for children? It depends on several factors. If they are careful enough, they will rarely injure themselves. Besides, e-scooters for kids are designed to allow lower speeds. So, if they collide into something, they will not get hurt so much because of the low speed. Electric scooter safety statistics indicate that injuries among children are very minimal. Furthermore, a good number of them prefer to use playgrounds.
Electric scooters are very dangerous when your child uses them around cars and traffic. Even if they are careful, you do not when a mad driver will come around. If a scooter is moving too fast, it is possible for your kids to injure themselves if they fall off.
We will further discuss the safety requirements for kids riding e-scooters.
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Electric scooter age limit
For all the years that I have been dealing with e-scooters, I only find manufacturers indicating “electric scooter for 8 years and above kids”. however, this is for a two-wheeled e-scooter. This has led me to guess that according to manufacturers, the youngest your kids have to be is probably 8 years old.
No not call a quit yet! There are three-wheel scooters that younger kids can ride. You can always go for them. Some kids younger than eight years old do not have fully developed motor skills. This is why they cannot comfortably ride a two-wheel e-scooter. Furthermore, some of them are too short to reach the handlebars. Most e-scooters do not have an adjustable handlebar.
If your child is old enough to ride a bike safely, then an e-scooter will pose no problem at all. Any electric scooter designed for a child is safe to be used by children. Among the safety measures that manufacturers incorporate include;
- easily reachable brakes
- very low speed
- very limited range
It will not be safe for you to give your child an electric scooter designed for adults. Why? For starters, some of them are very heavy for a child. Your child might top easily on one. Secondly, adult e-scooters have very high speeds. We have seen some that can cruise at 72 kph; though the speed limit in many states is 15 mph (24 kph). Electric scooters for kids have lower speeds. The manufacturers have gone as far as creating off-road e-scooters for kids.
According to electric scooter safety statistics and consumer protection safety commission, 67000 have gone to emergence room. Out of those injuries, almost 60,000 of those injuries occurred when the kid was riding a manual scooter; there are a few e-scooters that can be rode manually. A good example is the Gotrax XR.
Now you see electric scooter-related injuries are not that many.
Only a few of those injuries such as broken bone and head injuries were reported.
Safety requirements for kids riding e-scooters
It is possible for you to reduce the chances of your kid getting injured. You can do this by following the safety guidelines we have written here. Your kid will be very safe and if they fall off, they will get minimal injuries at worst. These safety rules should be followed especially when your kid is riding his scooter downhill.
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Have your kid wear a helmet
A help helm is a standard safety requirement for anyone riding a motorbike, an e-bike, or an e-scooter. A helmet will protect YOUR KID From head injuries if an accident occurs. Teach your kids to develop the discipline of wearing a helmet always.
From fundamental physics, when one is falling, the head risks coming to the ground with the highest speed and force. Besides, the head is bony and there are not protective muscles. Chest and head injuries are very fatal.
Have the appropriate shoes.
Sandals are the worse idea while your kid is riding an e-scooter. Have them wear closed shoes always. Open-toed shoes are also a no. It is even worse to allow them to ride scooters barefooted. Why?
For starters, feet do sweat. When this happens, they get slippery increasing the chances of injuring themselves.
Secondly, most of the e-scooters for kids such as the razor power core e-90 have spoked wheels. Your child`s foot can get jammed in the wheel! This would make injuries worse. Do you now see the need of wearing proper shoes?
Have them wear elbow and knee pads
When you fall, you instinctively land on your knees and elbows. It should not then surprise you that most scooter-related injuries occur on the elbows and the knees.
There are a wide variety of gears you can go for to minimize elbow and knee injuries; the knee and elbow pads. They are not expensive. They come in sizes, shapes, and colors. You can find one for your kid. If you are interested, you can check these sold on amazon by clicking here.
Make your kids’ rides safer and more enjoyable. Though there are e-scooters designed for use during the winter, not only kids` scooters are good for winter. Their wheels lack treads and are susceptible to falls in such kind of weather. Keep them safe by giving them the right gear.
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Teach them to maneuver and to use brakes
If your kid knows how to use brakes, good! He or she will not crash into things. If not, you can help them practice to brake. If the brakes are very tight, you can adjust the grip accordingly. I once slammed on the ground because the brakes were too tight.
The second thing to teach your kid about e-scooters is how to maneuver. Some can teach themselves. However, if your kid is too afraid, you help them through. The paths or the tracks kids usually use have pedestrians or obstacles sometimes. Learning to maneuver will be very helpful.
Buy your kid an age-appropriate scooter
Parents have a habit of going for things arguing that their children will grow into them. while you might be right, this may not be applicable where safety is paramount.
You buy your kid an e-scooter of the right size. Buy your kid an electric scooter for young adults is not a good idea. They will have very difficulty controlling them. chances are high they won’t manage to reach all the controls, especially the brakes.
On the flip side, buy your kid an e-scooter that is too small for them, they will cause it to wear down fast. They will burn out the motor. They may even break it.
Have your kid ride alongside other kids
When kids ride in large numbers, other motorists will have an easy time spotting them. so accidents are minimal. Besides, we all say there is safety in numbers. However, warn them to ride alongside those people they know.
Read more on scooter accessories.
Chose the appropriate place to ride
There are places where your kid can ride the scooter safely. Such are the places where there are very few cars and obstacles. Highways should be avoided at all costs.
The other places to avoid are wet grounds. We saw in our previous articles that the IP rating for most scooters is very low. They can not tolerate being in the water without getting damaged. Furthermore, such areas are very slippery. Your kid might fall.
In addition to avoiding wet areas, make sure your kid does not ride in the rain. Not all e-scooters are waterproof and even so many are not water-resistant.
Waterproof and water resistance mean two different things. Water-resistant means your e-scooter components can come in contact with water without getting damaged. Waterproof, on the other hand, means that the components inside your e-scooter are covered well such that no water can reach them.
The water-resistant level is indicated with an IP rating.
Do not allow kids to ride in the dark
Even when your kid’s e-scooter has a light, do not allow them to ride at night, dawn, or dusk. Not all rental e-scooters have a taillight or reflector. This increases the chance of other motorists ramming into your child.
What features as a parent should you look for when buying your kid an e-scooter?
In this section, we will discuss some of the important features you ought to look for in an e-scooter. it does not matter whether it a kid`s or adult e-scooter. They matter a lot.
When it comes to battery, three things ought to pick your interest. The first thing is the type of battery. The second thing is the battery capacity. Lastly, the age of your battery. There are three types of batteries used in e-scooters; Li-ion, sealed lead-acid, and nickel-metal hydride battery. You can read more about their e-scooter battery guide by clicking here. However, it talks briefly about them. Li-ion is the most expensive but has a higher charge density and lasts the longest. Sealed lead acid is the cheapest of all three. They a heavy, do not last long, and have low charge density. Nickel-metal hydride batteries are the middle ground between the two. They are not as good as Li-ion and not as bad as SLA.
The battery capacity means the amount of charger your battery can hold. Large battery capacity is preferred because they will give you a longer range
However, avoid nickel-metal battery where possible. They are had to replace or upgrade.
Go for an e-scooter with a large battery capacity and that takes less time to charge. Batteries will large capacities will reduce your need to charge them more often.
Range or the distance between charges
Many e-scooters for kids you will find in the market are low-tier. This means they have very little range and comes with a low-capacity battery. Some of them take even up to 12 hours to charge! Thank God some of them come with fast chargers which allow dual charging. A good example is a dualtron mini.
Go for an e-scooter that gives you or your kid the maxim range possible.
When looking for an e-scooter for your child, go for those that allow you to restrict the maximum speed. Maximum speed restrictor allows you to set the maximum speed for your kid. You can adjust that as they grow older.
You will not find this in all e-scooters in the market. The few that offer this component are the best to go for if your budget allows you. Such scooters are top-notch in the market.
Why is speed restrictor very good? With a speed restrictor, you can buy an e-scooter that is more powerful than your kid can handle now. Then you will make necessary adjustments to suit your kid. As they grow bigger, you will make further adjustments. Over the years, you will not buy many scooters for your kid.
Frequently ask question
How can we make scooter riding safer for my child?
Children who are below 8-years should not ride a two-wheel e-scooter. There are three-wheel scooters you can buy them.
Make sure your kid has safety gear such as helmets, shoes, elbow, and knee pads. Do not allow them to ride near traffic. Where possible go, to an open place, with few people.
Avoid riding when it is raining or when the visibility is low.
What equipment does my child need prior to riding an e-scooter?
You child will need the following before riding an e-scooter
- a fitting helmet
- knee and elbow pads
- long pants where possible
- closed sport shoes. ( no sandals or open-toed shoes)
is electric scooter dangerous?
They are not more dangerous than your bicycle. So long as the brakes are okay and your kid knows how to maneuver, you do not have to worry about anything.
Also, do not allow them to ride in traffic. Have them wear the appropriate helmet and other safety gear.
Pre-ride checklist for an e-scooter
- Check whether the brakes are working properly. check the electronic brakes first and then the mechanical types next.
- Make sure the battery level is sufficient to take you where you want to go.
- When you are using a small or fat-wheeled electric scooter, make sure it has enough pressure. If not, you can use a pump.
- Check whether the handlebar is in good conditions and the controls are also working well
If there is anything broken, ensure you have it fixed first before going out. Tighten the loss screws. The section that follows is about the best way to take care of your scooter.
How to take care of your child`s e-scooter
Why should you take care of your scooter? Other than avoiding accidents, taking care of your e-scooter helps to extend its life cycle. Who would not want to have a scooter serving his or her child for seven years or more?
Before you start using your e-scooter, check whether the guards, covers, and brackets are in proper condition.
If you happen to be using pneumatic tires, make sure they are up to proper pressure. When the tires have no treads, you can replace them.
We are not yet in the age when e-scooters and EVs can charge themselves. We hope soon it will be the case. So, ensure your e-scooter has enough charge to take you where you need to be.
What to do if you will not use it for a long time
And if you intend to keep it for a very long time, please charge it first. Most batteries, especially the Li-ion types deteriorate when they are in discharged condition. Also, charge it periodically, say after two weeks. Batteries discharge naturally even when not in use. Besides, the battery is the component that gets destroyed first. So, taking care of it will prolong its life cycle and the life cycle of the e-scooter.
When your kid is done for the day, have them keep their e-scooter upright. It is preferable if you get a specific location for your e-scooter. It will prevent people from tripping over it.
If you want to take your kid’s e-scooter to a plane, you will need to cover it well with a plastic sheet. Kids e-scooter are allowed on a plane since they have small batteries. Their batteries are hardly anywhere above 160 Wh.
e-scooter state laws and regulations
E-scooters are a new technology in many cities. This is why there are very few regulations and laws about them at the state and federal levels. Besides, they appear harmless. Nonetheless, there are cities that have banned e-scooters completely. Other cities have managed to make rules. For instance, if you are cruising at speeds higher than 15 mph, you will need a license.
It is common knowledge that when it comes to traffic offenses, a teener of 16 years and above is treated as an adult. People younger than 16, will require the parent to appear during the hearing. Besides, they are minors and require the parent to pay the fine.
What to do if you are where you can rent an e-scooter
Make sure you know how to use an e-scooter. familiarize yourself with the controls first. What you have to under is that riding an e-scooter is different from riding a motorbike or any bike. Some e-scooters come with a seat and sometimes a different braking system.
Read the safety rules first before leaving the rental premises. They may know one or two things about that specific model that can save your life.
You ought to know that minors can also access the e-scooters very easily. This has been made possible by several factors. First, the child can access and use their parents’ phones. So, they can sign-up for an e-scooter without their parents’ knowledge. This has helped many by-passed the user verification step. Secondly, minors today own phones.
Do not use the phone while riding an e-scooter. always follow this rule no matter how scarcely populated your riding area is. It will cause you or your kid to crash and get injured.
Have your kid train how to use e-scooter in various terrain
Not all e-scooters are created the same even so not all e-scooters can be used in off-terrain conditions. however, a known good of e-scooters for kids come with a large wheel. Therefore, I would recommend you to help them learn to ride in all-terrain.
Some terrains are very bumpy and very rough. Rough terrains could be rocky or full of dirt. It could be very challenging. Learning to ride in all terrains minimizes the chances of accidents and injuries. Besides, your kid will know what to expect when he or she is switching between terrain and off-terrain.
However, if your e-scooter has small wheels, avoid large obstacles. Such can stop your wheel and can damage your e-scooter. Such obstacles can damage your e-scooter just as it is with bicycles.
Final thoughts on are e-scooters safe for children?
Are electric scooters safe for children? You now have already made up your mind from the extensive read above. All parents, including me, want to keep our children as safe they can be while they make as much fun as possible. If you follow the above guidelines and recommendations, both your kid and your e-scooter will be safe.
There are parent and child electric scooter that allows you to ride along with your kid. A good example of that is Electric Snow Bike, Electric tricycle, parent-child trip three-seater. It has three sits. One for the parent and two for your kid. Such e-scooters make maintenance easy. Both you and your children will enjoy the ride.