It’s no secret that kids like to live dangerously. They don’t quite understand the real dangers that can happen, and once they get inspired, there’s no going back! It can be daunting to let your young one explore such an unpredictable area as a skatepark. It’s the place where injuries, scrapes, fractures and breaks are born, and if you have a young child, it’s natural that you will want to protect them from such things.
Whether your child has been inspired by their older sibling that is always in the skatepark, or maybe because of a TV show, we have a few tips to help get your child through this journey.
1. Wear a helmet
A simple, yet exceptionally important point. It may sound like a cliche tip, but it’s the one thing that can save your child’s life. Whether your child is riding a scooter, skateboard or rollerblades; skateparks are prone to be places of injury. The ramps can be extremely dangerous, especially if your child is new to their preferred sport. A helmet can be the thing that saves your child from a nasty concussion, or worse! It will keep your child secure, no matter if them slipping is their fault or the fault of someone running into them.
Regardless, it’s important to protect your child. Getting a well-fitted helmet for them before you go to the park is a must. It can be difficult to convince your child to put on a helmet, especially since they think of it as ‘uncool’. That’s why it’s important to go shopping with your child and let them choose what kind of helmet they want. Whether it’s themed or simple, it will help your child be more confident at the park. It is also important to ensure your child has correctly fitting skate shoes that also protect their ankle.
2. Wear knee and elbow pads
Scrapes, bruises and wounds are very common in the skatepark! And most of the time, your child will fall on their knees and hands. The only way to prevent that, to some degree, is to wear pads. Children may not want to wear pads in fear that it may make them look childish. The best solution is to let them choose the pads, and allow them to perhaps pick a set that is themed after their favorite book, show, comic book etc.
It may be a bit more expensive, but it will help keep your child confident, and importantly, safe.
3. Get the correct scooter for their size
When kids see older peers with their big scooters, electric ride on skateboards and rollerblades, they get envious. In their minds, adult gear equals better gear. That is a big misconception, but explaining to your child that their sibling or friend is better at skating because of their skills and not because of their gear is close to impossible. Getting a bigger scooter, if your child is too young for it, will mean an increased chance of injury. If it won’t fit the child, and it will be very difficult to scoot about with.
4. Watch out for the big kids
Kids at the skatepark can be ruthless, and they can run into other kids and adults without much thought. If your child is very young, this can be an unforgivable environment to be in. You don’t want to discourage your child by keeping them away from the park. However, you don’t want to expose them to unnecessary danger, either.
There are basic, skatepark rules that need to be followed. For example, if a group of older teenagers or adults is taking up a space in the park, don’t let your child get in their way. There are plenty of ramps and obstacles available in the park, and there’s no need to fight over spaces. It’s also important to teach your child to wait their turn. It can be exciting to be at the skatepark and your child will want to try out every obstacle. However, the basic courtesy is to wait till the ramp and obstacles are free.
5. Eat and drink regularly
Skateparks are exciting, and can be a great new experience for your child. However, it can be easy for your child to get dehydrated or forget to eat. This is especially true when they are excited about all the possibilities of what you can do with your scooter, skateboard etc. With constant movement, your child will get quickly dehydrated and hungry. Even if they deny it, it’s important to take a small lunch and a bottle or two of water to help keep your child’s energy at the right levels.
With that said, you still have to keep an eye on your child. It’s important to have your little one be close enough to you so that you can offer help should something happen. If you follow these 5 tips, you can rest assured that your child will be kept protected, hydrated and excited through all of their trip at the skatepark!