Electric scooters provide an efficient way for your independent tyke to cruise around and travel to school and back. But take heed: Since easy-to-rent electric scooters have popped up in major cities around the world, scooter-related injuries have increased.
That's not to say that something will happen to your little one if you put them on a scooter. You can take precautions to ensure your child stays safe. Like learning to drive a car or testing for a motorcycle license, picking up a scooter will require your child to learn the rules of the road and how to ride their new vehicle safely.
Quick buying tips
Here are three things to consider before buying an electric scooter for your child:
How big is your kid? Many electric scooters made for kids have a weight limit of 120 pounds. Even though your child may weigh less than that, a bag loaded with schoolbooks may push it over the limit.
How old is your child? The electric scooters we recommend on this page are intended for children ages 8 and up. For kids younger than that, we recommend nonelectric scooters.
How far does your child have to go? If you're getting your child an electric scooter so they can get to school and back, consider how far they have to travel. If it's a longer distance, you'll want to get a scooter with a better range, so your kid doesn't get stuck pushing the scooter home.
Best electric scooters for kids
Ready to get your kid on an electric scooter? There are plenty of scooter options, but we narrowed those down a few of the models specifically built with kids in mind.
Best starter scooter for kids
1. Razor E100
Best starter scooter for kids
Size: 36 x 32.5 x 16 inches | Weight: 29.5 pounds | Max speed: 10 mph | Range: 10 miles | Max rider weight: 120 pounds
The E100 provides the best way to introduce your child to an electric scooter. It comes in a wide variety of colors, so your child can find one that suits her or his style. This scooter features twist-grip acceleration controls and a hand-operated front brake. It tops out at 10 mph, so it's fast enough for your kid to get to school on time but not so fast that it ventures into dangerous extreme sports territory. The Razor E100 can manage up to 40 minutes of drive time, or up to 10 miles of distance.
Best budget scooter for kids
2. Razor Power Core E90
Best budget scooter for kids
Size: 32.9 x 31.7 x 12.9 inches | Weight: 22 pounds | Max speed: 15 mph | Range: 5 miles | Max rider weight: 120 pounds
The Razor Power Core E90 electric scooter is one of the best budget scooters available for kids. Like the E100, it tops out at 10 mph and can manage up to 70 minutes of continuous cruising. It features push-button acceleration and a hand-operated front brake, as well as a retractable kickstand, so it can stand upright without tipping over. This little scooter is also small enough to bring on board the bus or to stow at the back of the classroom during school hours.
3. Razor Pocket Mod Miniature Euro
Stylish scooter that looks like an old-school Vespa
Size: 50 x 30 x 18 inches | Weight: 62 pounds | Max speed: 15 mph | Range: 10 miles | Max rider weight: 170 pounds
Stylish kids who prefer to sit down instead of standing up may like the Razor Pocket Mod Miniature Euro electric scooter, a seriously cool ride. Like the rest of the Razor family, it comes in a variety of colors and even features a cubby for stowing books, jackets or whatever else needs to be stored. Like the Vespa you'd see around the streets of Paris or Rome, the Pocket Mod features a twist-grip throttle and a rear suspension system, so it's a comfortable ride. The 12-inch tires are a bit bigger than the norm, but that's to help sustain its top speed of 15 mph for up to 40 minutes of riding time.
Safety tips for children
Always wear a helmet
According to a national poll at the University of Michigan (initially reported in the The New York Times), only 59% of parents said their child wears a helmet while riding a bike, skateboard or scooter. Don't be part of the 61% whose kids don't. Equip your child with a helmet like the Razor V-17 youth multisport helmet, the Bell Rally child helmet or the Woom Bikes USA kids' helmet. The Woom helmet, in particular, is an excellent choice because it extends over the temples and back of the head for full coverage.
A little less than half of all states have laws that require children age 17 and under to wear helmets when riding bicycles, while nearly all states have laws regarding the use of helmets when riding low-powered cycles, such as electric scooters.
For extra protection, consider investing in a pair of elbow and knee pads for your kid. Look for a set that includes wrist guards. Reflective gear is also a good idea if your child will be riding close to sundown.
Don't buddy up
Kids like to have fun, but remind them that buddying up with a friend on an electric scooter isn't the best idea. Every scooter has a weight limit, and even if your child and a friend come under that number, putting an extra person on the vehicle makes it harder to balance and steer.
Check local laws and regulations
A Consumer Reports survey found that more than 1 in 4 riders weren't entirely sure about the traffic laws related to riding electric scooters. If you, too, aren't sure, check with your city about its rules. In most cases, you can't ride e-scooters on sidewalks and instead have to use bike lanes and share the road with cars. If you're anxious about your kid riding across busy intersections, try to map out a route that avoids streets with high pedestrian and car traffic.
Learn to use hand signals
It's never too early to learn the universal language of hand signals. That's right: The DMV-mandated signals for turning left, turning right and stopping come in handy when riding an electric scooter. To keep your kid safe out on the road, make sure that they not only know these signals, but also understand how to properly use them.
Avoid hauling extra weight
Your child will likely travel with a backpack on the way to school. But make sure they understand that hanging a bag, or even a sweater, on the handlebars of their scooter can throw the vehicle off balance. If carrying cargo is a concern, consider an electric scooter that's outfitted with a basket or storage space.
Check for defects
Electric scooters require a bit of assembly before they're ready for the road. For models like the Razor E100, you'll have to attach the handle to the base before the scooter's ready to roll. Once it's assembled, do a thorough safety check. First, perform a visual inspection, to confirm that everything is connected correctly and the wheels are inflated and sturdily in place.
Then, charge the battery to full power and take the scooter for a test run. Check out the brakes and throttle, trying them really hard. If you find a defect with the product after you've taken it around the block, contact the manufacturer immediately.
Teach your kid how to ride properly
Electric scooters are not as tolerant of bumps and potholes than cars, because the wheels are smaller. Before your kid ventures out on their own, take them around the block for a few test runs. Teach them how to safely take off, accelerate and decelerate, hit the brakes, and maneuver around uneven sidewalks and sticks in the road. Manufacturers often include safety instructions with the scooter that you can refer to as you teach your child the ins and outs of driving their new vehicle.