Probably everyone has seen young racers on the runbikes fashionable today. And every mother, when she looks at the baby rushing at the speed (albeit someone else’s), involuntarily squeezes with fear. Isn’t this means of transportation dangerous, is there any benefit from it, and is it worth putting a toddler on a running bike, which has barely begun to walk confidently?
The content of the article:
- Benefits of a balance bike for a child – is there any harm?
- What can a balance bike teach a kid?
- Child safety while riding and problem solving
- Choosing the right balance bike!
Benefits of a balance bike for a child – is there any harm?
What terms do they call this miracle on wheels without pedals – and a balance bike, and a bicycle scooter, and other fashionable words. The most popular in Europe in our time “cycle race” has supplanted even 2-3-wheeled bicycles.
Finally, this miracle appeared in Russia, which, of course, made mothers and toddlers happy.
What is a balance bike, and “what is it eaten with”?
First of all, it is, of course, a bicycle. True, without wheels and with a lightweight frame.
For older kids, the models are already presented with a hand brake and inflatable wheels.
Such “transport” is purchased by mothers both for children 5-6 years old, and for 1.5-year-old toddlers.
Is there a benefit from a balance bike for a toddler?
This transport develops …
- Vestibular apparatus, excluding overstrain (the baby himself is able to regulate the intensity of the load).
- Coordination of movements and significantly increases the speed of reaction.
- The brain, thanks to active sensory-motor development.
- The musculoskeletal system (the load is applied to all muscle groups).
- Overall endurance.
- The instinct of self-preservation.
- The ability to balance and control one’s own muscles.
The main advantages of the balance bike:
- Ergonomic shape. The toddler’s legs are always in a comfortable position and develop symmetrically, and there is no excessive stress on the joints.
- You can ride for a long time tirelessly even at a high pace.
- Changing to 2-wheeled vehicles will be much easier, the child will master a normal bike quickly and without nerves.
- You don’t need to learn to ride for a long time on a balance bike – sat down and drove off.
- The balance bike grows with the baby (approx. – most models are height adjustable).
- The toddler joins sports.
- You can ride whenever you want, regardless of the season.
- Balance bike weight – 2 times less than a bicycle.
- Falling off the balance bike is difficult: In case of danger, the baby automatically rests his feet on the ground, even when driving at high speeds.
- Unlike a bicycle, the balance bike is able to move on snow, in mountains, on rough terrain.
And what is the use for mom?
Such walks will definitely become more pleasant and easier for mom. Now you don’t have to stop at every bench and wait for the tired child to rest after hard work on the bike.
And you don’t have to haul a heavy bike either. The weight of the balance bike is insignificant, and it can be easily carried home (approx. – on a special belt thrown over the shoulder) if the child is tired of riding. However, this usually does not happen.
Mom’s mobility becomes higher, because this transport can be easily taken with you on any trip.
Running on a balance bike – contraindications
Of course, they are, as with any physical activity.
- Mental illness.
- Severe chronic diseases.
In other cases, a balance bike, as a rule, is not only not prohibited, but even recommended. However, it is up to the specialists to decide.
Child development and balance bikes – what can this transport teach your baby?
“And why is this necessary?” A passer-by raises an eyebrow skeptically, looking at a child “flying” forward on a balance bike.
And even some mothers who bought a fashionable novelty for their children are wondering – but really why? What is a balance bike for? Just fooling around and getting a boost of vivacity, or is it really good?
What can a balance bike teach?
- The most important and first thing is to keep your balance. It’s not for nothing that one of the names of this transport is a balance bike. Moreover, he teaches at a very early age, safely and practically “on the fly.”
- Assess terrain… As you ride the balance bike, the kid begins to understand what kind of terrain the speed of his ride depends on. That the transport goes from the hill “by itself”, but up the hill you have to work with your feet.
- Respond quickly to danger. If there is an obstacle ahead, the baby easily lowers his legs and brakes on his own. Without the risk that the balance bike, like a bicycle under heavy braking, will roll over.
- To be self-confident. The feeling of freedom and independence allows the child to become more self-confident. Thanks to the contact of the feet with the ground, the baby has no fear. He learns to overcome obstacles without unnecessary worries.
- Remember the traffic rules. The more actively your child uses transport, the faster he learns the basics of traffic rules. He practically studies all the difficulties of the movement, remembering that pedestrians need to be allowed through, that they need to be warned about overtaking, and it is dangerous to “cut off” someone. Of course, the rules need to be discussed with the child in advance, at home, but the street still presents surprises, so mom should always be on the lookout.
Introduce your toddler to the balance bike in a location that is safe for the baby and other children to ride.
Remember that transport can reach a decent speed. And of course take care of special protection for the child (approx. – knee pads, helmet, etc.) at least for the first time.
Child safety when riding balance bikes and problem solving
As we noted above, the balance bike teaches the child the safety rules, which are important in any sport.
Of course, there is nothing to worry about on the track in the park, but if a child wants to go to the skateboard, that’s a completely different conversation. The line behind which the unacceptable “extreme” begins is drawn by the mother.
But no matter where the line is drawn, helmet and knee pads are required!
Children’s injuries in playgrounds – where to spread straws on walks?
What problems do mothers face most often when buying balance bikes for their babies, and how can these problems be solved?
- The child already has a tolocar. Or, for example, a scooter. And the baby does not see the need to change to an unfamiliar vehicle when he already has his own, beloved. Moreover, a scooter that has become “superfluous” can be given to a younger sister or, horror, to a neighbor’s child. How to be? Do not intrude. Take your toddler to the park and show the kids how much fun they have on balance bikes. When the child has a desire, agree with him that he will ride around the apartment on a tolokar, on a scooter – with a granny, and on a balance bike – with you.
- The child is afraid to ride it. Usually this happens only if the child overheard the parents’ conversation or himself felt that the mother was worried about his safety. How to be? First, tell the child about the benefits of transport and about the dangers that can be encountered on the street. Secondly, help the baby become more self-confident. Thirdly, you can go for a walk with neighbors, whose baby already easily and naturally rides a balance bike. Children’s courage wakes up much faster if there is a peer nearby.
- The child already had a bad cycling experience, and it is impossible to make him try the novelty again. How to be? Take the baby by the hand and take him to the store. And there you can buy the most beautiful super-helmet, super-knee pads and other protection elements, in which he will become a real super-hero – fearless and fast as lightning. Well, or just take your time. Let the balance bike stand in the corner, the kid will get to know him over time.
- Balance bike too heavy. The child cannot cope, it is difficult for him to slow down and, in general, to keep the vehicle. This only happens when mom and dad decide to save money and buy a balance bike right away “for growth.” You don’t need to do this. Take the balance bike clearly according to the child’s height. Better to choose it with your baby. Let him try it right in the store, feel whether this one is needed, or is it still worth taking a lighter and smaller transport.
- It is difficult for the child to ride because of the shoes. An important point: heavy and high boots significantly limit the movement of the feet on the balance bike, especially in the ankle area. The same can be attributed to tight and tight jeans, as well as clothes that are too warm, not suitable for active walks. Dress your child outdoors, taking into account the loads that fall on the young racer – do not reinforce them with uncomfortable clothes.
Choosing a balance bike correctly – what should you pay attention to when buying a balance bike?
If you have already appreciated all the advantages of a balance bike, then it will be useful to learn about the rules of his choice.
So, we pay attention to the following points:
- Step size. One of the most important criteria for choosing a transport. It is simple to determine it: we measure the length of the inner side of the toddler’s leg or the distance from the child’s groin to the ground. We subtract 2-3 cm from the obtained figures and remember the result. What’s next? Almost every balance bike features a seat height adjustment feature. And in the characteristics of the product, the manufacturer usually indicates both values - the minimum height and the maximum. So the minimum height cannot exceed the “step size” (approx. Minus 2-3 cm). That is, if the result is 33 cm, then the minimum saddle height is no more than 30-31 cm. At higher seat heights, it will be difficult for the baby to bend his legs.
- Material. In addition to classic metal models, today stores offer plastic and even wooden ones. The latter are more environmentally friendly, usually made of birch, durable and beautiful. But you won’t be able to adjust the height of the handlebar or saddle. In addition, such a balance bike can simply crack when struck. The plastic model is lightweight, corrosion resistant and durable. Disadvantages: Poor cushioning and inability to adjust the seat / steering wheel. Therefore, the choice of material depends on the purpose of use: for a two-year-old and a park path, a plastic version is also suitable, but for active off-road riding for a child from 5 years old it is better to take a metal model.
- Wheel material. Foam tires (approx. – hard and airless) are more passable even on the most uneven roads. And there is no need to worry about a carnation or a shard of glass on the road. These wheels are durable and last a long time. But the cushioning properties are much worse. As for pneumatic tires, they have everything in order with the shock absorption, but they are heavier, more difficult to operate (you need to monitor the tire pressure) and require replacement when punctured.
- The presence of a brake. Vehicles with a braking system should be bought for children who have already mastered the balance bike. for 2-3-year-olds, the brake is not needed – they still drive slowly and successfully brake with their feet.
- Footrest. It will come in handy for kids over 3 years old. When going down the hill, it is this stand that allows you to feel all the joy of riding.
And, of course, the child’s height. It is easiest to find a balance bike for a toddler above 85 cm.For smaller kids, the choice will not be so wide – only a few models.
Choosing transport, put your baby on it and make sure his hands are firmly on the handlebars, knees bent, and feet flat on the ground.
It should be comfortable for the child to bend the legs and push off the ground.
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