Our kids are on the go. We push them to be independent movers and shakers. First, with their own two legs, and then, eventually, as a no-training-wheels-needed bike rider. But now, more than ever, there are so many other options for them to try, practice, master, and be off cruising the neighborhood on. And that’s all fine and dandy, as long as they know how to ride and how to stay safe when they’re doing it.
One-wheels and hoverboards have the same types of operation. They require balance to move them – lean one way or another. Bikes and scooters – you balance and stay upright. But there’s a lot more to protection and safety than just those key pieces of operator knowledge. From the right kind of PPE to taking all levels of training seriously and in stride, allow us to guide you through keeping the kids safe when they encounter the ever-popular eBikes, scooters, hoverboards, and one-wheels.
Good Locations To Practice
When you’re kids are gearing up to learn how to ride their new eBike, scooter, hoverboard, or one-wheel, it’s important that they have a safe space to practice. Practice truly does make perfect and you will want to spend enough time with your little one as they figure out how to maneuver their ride and what works for them as they come and go.
Scout out an area nearby that you can use as the “Practice field” this may look they any of the following:
- Grassy hills: This is a great place to start with kiddos that don’t have as much experience or legs that aren’t that strong yet. It helps them get started without a scary landing. Those grassy hills have a much softer landing!
- Grassy, open fields: When they have worked up a bit of strength, transition to the field. This is a great way to develop more balance but still have a softer landing than on sidewalks and concrete.
- Open, concrete areas: Think parking lots (seems like local parks usually have a safe area to practice during off-season times) or basketball/tennis courts when no players are in progress. This is perfect for when your kiddo is showing signs of progress, coordination, and balance. Just make sure that they’re wearing PPE because concrete won’t be as easy to take a hit with.
PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)
What specific items should your little rider be sure to wear on a daily basis? From helmets to knee pads, they should have the full gear before they’re given open reign to ride. At some point in time, kids are bound to fall and get hurt – and it’s our job, as parents, to make sure that we soften that blow as much as possible.
You can buy each of these items separately, but keep in mind that you can also find full sets (sans the helmet) as well at places like Amazon.
Here’s the necessary list of PPE your rider should dawn on their next practice run:
- Helmet: It’s imperative that you make sure the helmet fits correctly, as it’s the most important piece of PPE. It will reduce the severity of possible head injuries and give parents more peace of mind.
- Wrist guards: So many wrist injuries can happen when you fall off a one-wheel. Broken wrists (or even the growth plate) aren’t fun to deal with especially when something as simple as a wrist guard can prevent it.
- Elbow pads: Hitting a funny bone isn’t exactly funny. And hitting the concrete with your elbow is absolutely not a good experience for little arms. Elbow pads are another essential. It will reduce the possibility of blood scrapes and scratches too.
- Knee Pads: And finally, knee pads can be used as well. Similar to elbow pads it protects from severe injury but also the natural cuts that can happen from hitting the pavement.
Training wheels and balance boards are more than just for practicing the know-how behind it all, in fact, they create the foundation for true safety for our kids. By buying into progressive learning, teaching the skill before the main attraction, you can help your child to build confidence which translates into safer rides.
Training wheels can help with security while you teach the rider the basics of bike riding. And the balance board, that’s where you will get your most physical knowledge from. You begin teaching balance on a basic level – using the board. Once there is progress and strength built here, you move on to your bikes, scooters, hoverboards, and those awesome one-wheels.