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Road safety and your child - cycling, scooting and walking

Children's manual scooters

Manual scooters for children under the age of 14 are meant only to be used as playthings. They are made and designed this way. Because of this, they are seen as 'ride-on' toys by EU safety authorities.

Ride-on toys are playthings that children can ride on such as a rocking horse, a child's bike or scooter.

They are not built to be used as transport or for sport. Your child should not use them on public footpaths or pathways.

Manual scooters are scooters that do not have a motor or battery.

How to tell if your child has a toy scooter

All toy scooters should have a CE safety mark. If your child's scooter has this CE mark, it is intended to only be used as a toy.

ce-mark
If the CE mark is on your child's scooter, it is intended to be used as a toy. 

All toy scooters must have the manufacturers name, address and contact details. These should be visible on the scooter.

If the scooter's maximum user weight is 50kg or less, it is most likely a toy scooter and should not be used on public paths.

toy-scooter-with-3-wheels
Example of a toy scooter with 3 wheels

Kick scooters

Kick scooters are not toys. They are intended to be used in competitive sport.

They are made and designed to be stronger and more durable. Unlike a toy scooter, they can be used by children heavier than 50kg.

A kick scooter will not have a CE safety mark. But it should have warning labels. Make sure it is also age appropriate for your child.

kick-scooter
Example of a kick scooter.

Child safety when using scooters

To reduce the risks to your child when they're using a toy or kick scooter, make sure they:

  • never use their scooter on the road
  • always wear a helmet that fits
  • wear protective equipment that fits, including knee, wrist and elbow pads
  • use a scooter that is suitable for their weight, age, height and stage of development

Younger children and those learning how to use a scooter are most at risk of injuries. Common injuries include falls, cuts and bruises.

There's also a risk they'll get their fingers caught if the scooter has a folding mechanism.

Using scooters in public areas

Toy scooters are not intended to be used on public pathways or footpaths.

Never allow your child to ride their scooter on the road or in traffic

Always make sure an adult is closely supervising your child.

You shouldn't allow your child use their toy or kick scooter in places where there are lots of people walking. This is to avoid collisions.

Make sure the surface they use their scooter on is level.

Watch out for:

  • broken or uneven areas
  • slippy and wet surfaces
  • hazards such as manholes, tracks and drains - the scooter wheels could get stuck and cause injury to your child

Teach your child scooter safety

Teach your child how to use the scooter. Make sure they have the correct co-ordination, balance and control to use it. Get them to practice as part of teaching them how to use it.

When buying a children's toy scooter, make sure it has the current CE safety mark. Check for any warning labels.

If it is a kick scooter, it will not have a CE safety mark. But it should have warning labels. Make sure it is also age appropriate for your child.

Some toy scooters are not suitable for children under 3 years of age. This is because they contain small parts that your child could choke on.

Related topic

Choking, strangulation and suffocation

page last reviewed: 17/06/2019
next review due: 17/06/2022