Electric Scooters And Children, Is It Safe?
As Electric Scooters are becoming more common all over the world, people of all ages have started to use them to commute everywhere.
You see adults using them to get to work, students using them to get to school. This begs the question, should we allow our children to start using them as well?
This isn’t a simple question with one answer, nor does it mean that it’s gonna be the same answer for everyone.
I will however list a couple of arguments that might help you decide whether or not you should buy an electric scooter for your child.
Should I Buy My Child An Electric Scooter?
Birthday coming up and all that’s written upon your child’s wishlist is an electric scooter, should you go for it?
I personally think that it depends mostly on age but also on maturity. You would think these two things go hand in hand but that’s not always the case.
As I ride through my town, there are usually crowds of electric scooters going past me. There are sometimes people driving like maniacs, not paying attention to pedestrians, crosswalk lights, or cars.
You would think that I’m talking about young teenagers but that’s not always the case, I’ve seen good and bad riders of all ages.
My point is that the maturity of a rider isn’t always bound to age, I do however believe that there should be an age limit since adults generally have a more broad understanding of traffic laws and safety concerns.
An argument one might make is that if you allow your child to learn to ride correctly at a young age, they will respect the power of the vehicle more and ride in a responsible manner.
This argument is often used when people are discussing whether or not they should allow their children to learn proper firearm use at a young age.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? If you learn something by handling it with respect for its power and possible danger, you will learn to respect it.
While it sounds like a waterproof argument, standing next to your children as you teach them proper firearm use isn’t the same as letting them ride on an electric scooter by themselves.
I personally believe you should teach your children early respect for vehicles, I do however not believe you should let your 9-year old go off by themselves on an electric scooter in the city.
Bicycles Go The Same Speed So What’s The Difference?
It’s true, a regular bicycle can often obtain the same speed as many electric scooters on the market.
Does this mean electric scooters and bicycles offer the same amount of danger? No.
There are many other aspects as to why there’s a difference.
First off, bicycles require you to peddle and use your body in order to make you go.
Electric scooters on the other hand make you go by pressing the throttle.
The point I’m trying to make here is that it’s easier to mistakenly press the throttle at the wrong time rather than peddling forward on your bike at the wrong time.
This has happened to me at some points with my current electric scooter, standing still and not paying attention, I pressed down on the throttle accidentally while standing at a sidewalk and almost went out into the street.
Minor mistakes like this can obviously happen for anyone at any age but I believe adults are less likely to make them than children.
What Is The Age Limit For Electric Scooters?
Technically, there is no actual age limit for electric scooters in most countries.
The user manual might say it’s recommended for children age 12+ but that doesn’t mean that it’s required to be followed.
The ones you can rent downtown in larger cities usually have an age limit of 18 years old. This is however referring to the ones you can rent through an app, like Bird Electric Scooters for example.
I would say this mostly has to do with the legal issues that could occur if children of any age could access these.
For example, if a 9-year old could access the Bird scooters and there was an injury, the parents could press legal charges against the provider since they allowed this to happen.
This is why Bird for example requires ID identification to be able to use their services.
Electric Scooters And Safety Concerns
As with anyone at any age, injury is always a possible outcome while riding an electric scooter.
You might think 10-15 mph or 15-20km/h isn’t that fast but even at these speeds, you could sustain serious injuries. Apart from getting hit by a car or hit by other riders, falling down at these speeds could definitely cause injury.
There are different electric scooters on the market for younger children and some only go about 8-10mph or 10-15km/h. This could however still cause serious injuries if there is an accident.
Hitting a rock or a curb could make you fall forward and break your collarbone, or worse, land on your head.
Children might not think about these small things as much as adults do.
Apart from the obvious danger of sustaining injuries, even a broken ankle could cost you quite a bit if you don’t have a proper healthcare plan.
I’ve seen some kids riding around in the city that has been using helmets which is great. I wish I could say that’s always the case but it’s quite rare to see people, in general, using helmets while riding.
The question I have brought up will obviously be different for every parent. I do however hope that it brings some light to the possible dangers that you might not have considered before.
I personally believe you should wait with getting your child an electric scooter until they’re 16-years old or above, and for god sake, advise them to use a helmet.
Being a rider myself, I love riding my electric scooters to work and while I want everyone to have the same opportunity as me, I think parents should set an age limit.
It’s a fun vehicle to ride but it shouldn’t be seen as a toy.
Hopefully, this article has given you some information you didn’t know before and I hope you’ll make the right choice for your children.