Are Tricycles Bad for Toddlers?

Tricycles are a fantastic way for a young child to see the world. A tricycle is a safe way to travel, providing they take necessary precautions. However, make sure to buy a tricycle that is specifically designed for kids. Selecting a trike that isn’t out of their age range can result in something bulky and not easy to ride. 

Are Tricycles Bad for Toddlers?

They can be! Tricycles that are not suited for toddlers can cause injuries which most parents would not want to happen to their child. That cute little tricycle can be hazardous so parents want to do their research before buying one. Of course always take the proper safety measures!

Tricycle Safety Measures

Although there are several reasons why tricycles could be a poor choice for toddlers, it still helps in developing gross motor skills. When the toddlers use a tricycle, with or without pedals, monitor carefully. Always check the surrounding for safety, and make sure the toddler uses the proper safety gears. 

Below are some tips for keeping the toddler safe on a tricycle:

  • Choose a tricycle that is built low to the ground and has big wheels. This type of tricycle is safer as it is likely to tip over.
  • Have the toddler wear a bike helmet every time he rides. Ensure that the bike helmet is appropriately fit for the child. 
  • Wrist guards are also recommended to have because wrists often get broken.
  • Make sure that the tricycle is solidly built and is the right size.
  • If possible, avoid areas close to cars, swimming pools, and other dangerous spots.
  • Ultimately, always supervise the toddler closely while he is riding the tricycle.
  • Make modifications to the tricycle if needed to avoid the risk of injury.

Why Tricycles Could Potentially be a Poor Choice for Toddlers

Many parents think that a standard balance bike has more hazards to kids than those associated with tricycles. However, there are several reasons why tricycles are a poor choice for toddlers.

Basic coordination is needed in riding a tricycle.

Riding a tricycle is not as easy and straightforward as it seems. Toddlers need to pedal with his foot, look for obstacles in the way, and steer when required. Hence, tricycles are not the right choice for toddlers because they have not yet learned to coordinate their bodies and minds.

The Tricycle could be too Heavy for the Toddler.

Some tricycles can weigh as much as the toddler riding them. The weight can make the toddler tired quickly. The toddlers will have difficulty moving the tricycle, making it too efficient for the toddlers to ride the tricycle without their parents. 

The Trike is Ridden on a Rough Surface.

Tricycles tip over more than expected. They quickly become off-balance when one of the rear wheels is higher than the other when riding on rough surfaces. Sharp turns could also be a problem. 

The center of gravity for tricycles is much higher than a balance bike. There’s a valid reason why several three-wheeled vehicles are not allowed on city streets – they are likely to tip over. 

Tricycles do not Teach Balance.

Choosing a tricycle for a toddler could be viewed as a short-term solution to a long-term problem. It is because there is no balancing involved in riding a tricycle. It only teaches the toddler how to ride a tricycle. It does not teach the child how to steer correctly. 

Tricycles only help the toddler learn how to pedal and ride without proper balance.

Poor Supervision.

Statistics say 52 percent of tricycle-related ER visits are accounted for kids 1 and 2 years oldThe tricycle can be a dangerous ride, sending more than 9,300 children* to ER each year. Toddlers who are not yet developmentally ready to ride a tricycle are more prone to get hurt. It is because many toddlers injured on tricycles are too young for them.  Boys are more injured often than girls. Most injuries involved cuts on the face, and they occurred mostly at home.

Other Option for Toddlers

While tricycles may not be the best idea for toddlers, the balance bike is becoming increasingly popular among the new generation of parents. A balance bike is a two-wheeled pedal-less bike that children push along on their feet. 

It is generally for toddlers and kids from 18 months to 7 years old. Balance bikes do not require the children a lot of energy and struggle with the pedals. It is also easier to use because the toddlers only need to put their feet on the ground and stop, steer, or turn. 

Balance bikes also provide lower extremity strength. Motor planning and spatial awareness are improved through the continuous use of the balance bike.

Conclusion

Tricycles were built on the basis that toddlers cannot balance the bike. So when it comes to riding a real bike, children have to unlearn how to ride an unbalanced bike. It will take some time, and they still need to learn how to ride a balance bike. There are several options in wanting to develop a toddler’s basic coordination and spatial awareness. Make sure that the vehicle is appropriate for the toddler’s age and height. Safety must always be the top priority of the parents. 

Please take note that it’s not about getting the toddler to learn fast, but it is about safety. Toddlers must be comfortable with their vehicle, and they have their parents to be at their side at all times.

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