You child will fall off their bike! It’s a given. They’ll fall over and scrape their knees, they’ll probably fall down the stairs, and if they love to be outside, run, jump and climb then they’re pretty likely to fall out of the odd tree.
If you look at the statistics it’s easy to decide that ride-on toys aren’t safe. Ride-on toys are responsible for a big proportion of toy-related injuries in children, make sure your ride on toy is age appropriate. But when you think about it that’s hardly surprising.
Of course, your child is more likely to hurt themselves riding a bike or a scooter than they are playing with their train set. But this doesn’t mean that ride-on toys aren’t safe and should be avoided.
How to keep your child safe and let them play with ride-on toys.
We need to let our children take risks, it’s how they learn and gain independence. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t measures we can take to keep those risks to a manageable level.
- Don’t have ride-on toys upstairs. And be aware of any steps if you are playing outside. Even just a single step down from a patio or decked area can lead to little ones landing on their faces.
- Teach good safety rules early. You might not feel they really need a helmet when they are riding their balance bike on the flat around the park age two. But if they develop the habit of wearing it young they are more likely to keep wearing when they get older and more adventurous.
- Show them how their toy works. This might seem obvious but children are less likely to have accidents if they understand how to steer, brake, stop and get on and off correctly.
- Prepare them for the possibility of a few bumps. You want to clear the way and protect them as much as possible but a few bumps will help them learn and build resilience. Just make sure you are there to pick them up, dust them down and encourage them to keep going.
Not all toys are created equal
While we wholeheartedly believe that despite the obvious risks ride on toys are not only safe for children but a valuable tool for development we recognise that not all toys are created equal.
Buying quality toys that have been tested for safety is a must. Yet even with rigorous safety testing, some toys are inherently more dangerous than others and some children are far more likely to get hurt.
Don’t try and push your child to play with a toy that is too big for them or requires more advanced skills than they currently have as this is only likely to result in frustration and a higher chance of them getting hurt.
Instead choose high-quality toys that are developmentally appropriate and check that they are in good condition with no loose parts. That way you can be confident your child will get the maximum benefit with the minimum chance of a mishap.
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