Safety is paramount when it comes to kids' escooters - and this is as much about the child as the security. Make sure the build, the complexity of the controls and maximum speed are suitable for your child - you don't want them zooming off at high speed or unable to master the brakes. Also make sure you know the law - which is the same for kids' electric scooters as for adults, so you shouldn't, for instance, use them on the school run.
But what should you look for in a kids model? We're testing five right now, but here's what you should look for:
Activating the scooter
You get going by pushing off and activating the throttle. There are three amain options:
- Handlebar twist
- Handlebar buttons
- Platform-based control
You'll either get a lever on the hadlebars to apply a drum or electronic brake or a step-on brake on the back wheel. Younger kids who have had a non electric scooter will be faimilar with the step-on brakes. Make sure they practice with handlebar ones as they might pitch forward when applying them.
Age and weight
We recommend a minimum age of eight, given they'll be independently operating them. At this age, they should also be able to handle a two-wheeled scooter - if they can cycle without stabilisers, this should be the case.
With weight, make sure you follow a model's maximum weight (around 50kg for 8+ scooters and 70kg+ for those aged 14+) - and remember it's not just the child but anything else they might be carrying, such as a rucksack.
These weights are the median - so half of children are over and half under these figures. They are based on the NHS's weight charts.
Kids' weights vary a lot - it's worth noting that a quarter of boys are over 50kg at 13y 2months and a quarter of girls are over that weight at 12y 10months.
Speed and range
Adult scooters are usually limited to 25kmh and kids ones can go as high as 16kmh, although smaller ones are often lower. The faster scooters are for children aged nine over in our opinion.
After the first charge (which is longer), it will typically take anywhere up to 12 hours to charge a kids' scooter and give an hour or so's riding.
For the rider, make sure they wear a helmet and consider elbow and knee pads.
For the scooter, ideally you'll have a bell, a front light and reflectors but you'll often have to but these independently.
- Wheel type - either hard or air-filled rubber (which are a comfier ride but require more maintenance)
- Lighting - some models have cool LED lights which kids love
We recommend buying from known brands like Zinc or RAZOR - there are a lot of cheap scooters sold by online-only brands on Amazon with what look like high customer review scores. Dig into the reviews and you'll come across a steady stream of one star reviews based on poor safety, reliability and build quality.