How To Keep Toddlers Safe On Their Balance Bike
As an overall, balance bikes are safe. But it wouldn't hurt if you could take some precaution steps to ensure the kid won't get injured. As they learn how to keep their balance and coordinate hands, eyes and feet, they might fall. That's natural but with the right gear, they won't get hurt. Consequently, they won't get discouraged either. And most importantly, they won't suffer knee, elbow or head injuries.
Helmet are a must
Helmets are extremely important because they can protect your child's head, but elbow and knee pads are also essential.
As a matter of fact, kids' helmets are required by law in many states. So you don't only have to buy a quality helmet for your toddler, but also teach him/her the importance of this gear.
Children might make a fuss over their helmet, but you must insist and impose some family rules. It takes some time before they get used to it, but they will eventually get there and won't mind wearing it.
Choosing the right helmet is important
One reason why children might complain about their helmet has to do with its quality. If the helmet doesn't fit right, they will feel uncomfortable. The wrong size and poor quality helmet won't offer the right protection either.
Helmets shouldn't be tight, but neither loose. In the case of the former, the child will feel uncomfortable. In the case of the latter, the helmet will move. It's best to let the kid try on several helmets before you buy one.
It's vital to measure the kid's head right above the ears and eyebrows to get the right size helmet. You need to do thorough research and buy a helmet, which meets the official safety standards. So it's always best to turn to an authorized dealer/retailer. Be extra careful when you buy knee and elbow pads too. They must also fit perfectly.
Get the right balance bike size – Attention to the handles
The overall size of the balance bike and the distance to the handles are both significant. The balance bike will be safe only when it is the right size for the kid.
The whole notion is for the child to use the feet in order to balance and ride the bike. If his/her feet barely touch the ground, it won't be easy and might get dangerous.
The kid must be able to put the feet on the ground with ease having the knees slightly bend. This way, they will be more stable and able to ride the bike.
Once children learn how the bike works and how to keep balance, they start moving faster and faster. That's the fun of it! They will be much safer if the handles are placed in the right distance so that they can reach them easier. That's why it's important to get a balance bike with adjustable handles. For their safety, avoid freewheeling ones. Handles which limit steering enable kids to ride straight and keep them from falling.
Select the proper clothing and shoes
The kid's clothes and shoes must also be chosen carefully before he/she gets the balance bike out in the street.
Wearing enclosed, comfortable shoes is critical. Sandal-like shoes are completely inappropriate since they might come off and cause the kid to fall.
The shoes must be well secured around the ankles so that the child will keep his/her mind on the balance bike and not on the shoe.
The feet must be well protected and so riding the balance bike barefoot is not recommended either.
Don't forget that kids rely on their feet to ride the bike and bare feet might get injured. Children will also be much safer outdoors if they wear bright colored clothes. This way, others (especially cars and/or other bike riders) can see them from afar and will be careful when approaching the toddler. That's extremely significant especially during foggy days.
Let them ride in the house first
Another reason for getting a balance bike in the first place is to allow the child to build up confidence. So don't take the kid outdoors before he/she builds up some confidence at home.
After all, the surface at home is usually softer and the overall environment is familiar and safer. If the child falls in the house, he/she won't get severe injuries. If he/she falls in the street, it might be discouraging.
Allow them to learn how to control their bike at home before you take them in the park or a parking lot. And when it's time to take the big step outdoors, prefer neighborhood pavements, parks and other suited areas instead of busy streets.
Be there to offer assistance
Even toddlers who love the idea of riding a balance bike might hesitate at first. Don't push them into making a decision, but let them feel the bike in their own time and way. They might take a couple of weeks before they decide to try it out.
Some children might need to feel you are standing close by. So hold the rear part of the bike to help them get their very first feeling of balance bike riding. Children get encouraged when they see you around helping and supporting them.
There will come a time when they will glide faster, increase their speed and even pick up their feet off the floor. Till then be there for them.
Have a little chat with the child
Kids need to learn a few things before they start riding their balance bike outdoors. Tell them more about their safety, teach them how to be responsible and make up a few stories about potential dangers.
In this young age, they absorb everything like sponges and learn much faster than you think. You must teach them to keep away from busy roads, swimming pools, rivers, lakes, slippery grounds and seafronts.
Before you both take the huge step with the balance bike, play the role of the parent one more time and check out the bike. It's wise to make sure the bolts and nuts are tight before you take the balance bike outside.
You should also check the seat, handles and tires. They must all be stable, secure and in a good condition. Then go out and have lots of fun!