An Electric Scooter might seem like a perfect gift for Christmas, but please be advised that it’s not that simple. It’s not just a simple toy, and it isn’t like a bicycle, skateboard or a regular scooter. It is a very fun toy though. There are a few things to consider, please read on to find out.
Legal Age and Other Laws
There are places, states and countries where the scooters are unregulated, and anyone can drive them anywhere. Most countries put an age limit of around 16 years old, and the last thing you’d want is having the police knocking on your door and your child being found guilty of breaking the law. Please get informed about the laws of your place of residence, and even call the DMV or police department to get the best information. Sometimes, sadly, the child has to have a driver’s license to ride an electric scooter.
The two numbers that are often seen online is that the electric scooters must have 750 watts of power and below in the US, and 250 watts and below in the UK. Be mindful when choosing a scooter, because breaking the law will put you and your child in trouble. Get to know the laws and get your child informed too, in some places you can’t ride an electric scooter on public roads or public properties like parks. While this might take some fun out of the new toy, teaching your child responsibilities and laws is an important lesson. Electric Scooters can reach top speeds of up to 50 mph being very fast scooters and that’s why they have strict laws governing them.
Responsibility and Maintenance
An Electric Scooter requires maintenance and has to be recharged an hour after riding. Forgetting to charge it will eventually ruin the battery, ruining the longevity. The tires have to be pumped just right (please consult the manual) for the scooter to have the maximum range and to save up on electricity.
Teach your child to be mindful of any water that ends up on, or inside the scooter and wipe it all off. And also teach the child to be mindful of extreme heat (that will ruin the battery, shortening its life drastically) and of extreme cold (which will freeze the battery). Extreme cold is the more dangerous condition because the battery will often show it’s empty. Charging the frozen battery will destroy it. In short, always keep the scooter inside where it’s not too cold or too warm.
An Electric Scooter requires maintenance and responsibility, and if your child isn’t serious, his scooter will soon end up in the junk pile. It’s not a simple toy and it requires a lot of care compared to a bicycle or a skateboard.
Weight and Height of the Electric Scooter
The weight and feel of an Electric Scooter are crucial to the child’s enjoyment of the ride. Different models and makes of scooters feel and weigh differently, so it’s best that you and your child choose one together. Picking out an incorrect electric scooter and hoping to surprise your child might eventually make him hate the scooter.
The height of a scooter is paramount to the rider’s comfort, and picking out one that’s too tall or too short will make your child eventually give up on riding it. Don’t be easily sold on a scooter having adjustable handlebar heights, test those out with your child in the shop. Also be advised that most scooters have steering handles of different lengths, and it might not suit your child.
One last tip for the road: if you’re buying a powerful electric scooter, it’s better to stick with fixed heights, and fixed handles.
Can it fold?
Some kids (and some parents) prefer scooters that are foldable, while others prefer a fixed one. Don’t surprise your kid with a scooter that the kid will eventually hate, or buy one that you’ll eventually hate due to not being able to fold it and put it away in the garage.
Is it noisy?
Some Electrical Scooters are noisy, no getting around this issue. Some are quieter than others, and it’s best to test it out in the store. Ask your child if he’s comfortable with this level of noise. Don’t worry about it too much, because they’re quieter than most other modes of transport.
Replacement Parts and Professional Maintenance
While the child might not consider this (and sadly, most adults don’t either), having an abundant supply of replacement parts and a professional shop nearby is a good recipe for a happy scooter rider. We all know that nothing is permanent, and we should all know that electric scooters have lots of parts that will wear out and fail over time.
Having a big supply of replacement parts means that you don’t have to buy an entirely new scooter and that you’ll be able to procure parts for your scooter. The thing about professional maintenance stems from an unpopular fact: we can’t fix everything ourselves and sometimes DIY methods will bring more harm than good.
Some people jury rig DIY solutions that cost them their scooter, like gluing things up badly or messing with the electronics. Be mindful and only fix things that you’re 100% sure you can fix, or be ready to sacrifice the scooter, and personal safety, with a homemade solution. If your child is the crafty type, you might want to step in if things get out of hand and he makes the scooter unsafe.
Extra Gear and Accessories
While most people just buy the electric scooter and consider it done, having a quality helmet is crucial to staying safe while riding one. Don’t forget to buy the helmet too! Depending on your child’s age, you might also want to invest in knee pads, elbow pads and other protective gear. A bike light is always a good idea, and so are many other possible accessories you can stick on the electric scooter.