Ride-on toys come in a variety of models. Whether you choose a bike, trike, wagon, or scooter, it is important to ensure you choose a model suitable for your child’s age. Your child should wear protective gear including a helmet, elbow and knee pads whilst riding on it or in it, though naturally minor incidents may occur regardless.
Many people are not aware that ride-on toys are not just limited to bikes and trikes but incorporate several other styles, makes, and models to consider. The following provides a basic guide to what’s available on the market today:
Foot to Floor Ride-Ons
Suited particularly to toddlers, this ride-on toy is perfect for developing both hand and leg muscles. All you need to do is put your child in the driver seat then let him push the toy around with his feet. The safety concerns for this toy include checking the quality of materials used in the body of the vehicle and ensuring that the plastic is strong enough to support the weight of your child.
Bouncy Balls – Jumping Hop Balls
Known by many different names, these bouncing hop balls are very popular amongst kids from toddlers and up. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, the balls are great at developing your child’s sense of balance and agility. Aspects to pay attention to include whether the handles will be supportive enough for your child as he or she jumps or hops around on it, and the quality of the latex rubber used for the ball itself.
This toy is especially designed with little tots in mind, who love to enjoy being pulled around by an older sibling, parent or guardian, friend or grandparent. The toy wagon is usually made of steel though there are models now made from plastic. The important aspect to check for with this toy is its maneuverability. Longer handles are preferable as they can prevent tipping when turning. Some models also offer seat backs and seat belts for additional comfort and safety.
Bicycles, Tricycles, and Scooters
Naturally, buying a bike, trike or scooter involves more serious and careful consideration than that required for ride-on wagons, and bouncing balls. The following is a checklist for safety aspects to consider:
Size & Weight – ensure you buy a bike, trike or scooter that suits your child’s size and weight now. Do not anticipate that “they will grow” and buy the next size up. In this way your child will be much more likely to master control of it sooner and have more confidence in him or herself.
Brakes – check what braking system is in place and how accessible it is for your child.
Wheels – for younger kids, smaller wheels are usually more appropriate than larger wheels.
Handlebars – check to ensure your child can easily reach the handlebars for better steering and maneuverability.
Reflectors – equally as important on your child’s bike as any adult bike.
By paying attention to important safety matters prior to buying your child a ride-on toy or bike, you will reduce the chance of their being involved in an accident afterwards.