It used to be that kids fished or played baseball during campouts. Recently, a fellow RVer, R.J., lamented that those days are long gone. “Whatever happened to regular ol’ bicycles?” he wonders. “The new ride-on toys are just too fast for a campground. Too many kids don’t know how to safely ride them.” I understand R.J.’s concern. Motorized toys can be hazardous when not used properly. Especially in a crowded campground.
A near miss with a motorized toy
On a recent camping trip, I saw a little girl fall off a hoverboard. (I was surprised to see so young a child attempting to ride it.) Anyway, as she tried to ride, she fell off. Right onto the campground street. A truck came around the corner and narrowly avoided hitting the child, who sat stunned and crying. It all happened so fast that I barely had time to think, let alone shout out a warning. Thankfully, the child was okay. Just bruised. The truck driver needed a stiff drink! It was a very close call. And he was pretty shaken up.
Be the adult
It’s up to adults to keep children safe. Here are some tips that may help.
- Age-appropriate. Make sure the motorized toy is age-appropriate for your child. For example, a younger child may not be able to reach brake pedals or have the dexterity to safely manipulate the toy. If the toy has a recommended age level, follow it.
- Safety equipment. Helmets, elbow and knee pads, seat belts, and other safety measures can prevent serious injury. Make sure children use them. Also, realize that many motorized toys ride low to the ground. That makes them very difficult to see, especially if you are driving your truck or SUV.
- Speed limits. As an adult driver, always follow the campground’s speed limit. Or go slower than the limit when driving near where children often play.
- Monitor closely. Watch your children and grandchildren, especially when they play with their motorized toys. Caution kids to ride in safe areas, well away from trucks and other tow vehicles. Pay special attention to folks who are entering or leaving the campground. They are focused on maneuvering their rigs and may not see children, especially when backing their RVs.
What about those kids? You know. The ones who belong to someone else? Do you dare to caution them or talk to their parents if you see reckless behavior on motorized toys? I wonder if I could/should have done more to protect the little girl at the beginning of this article. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.
- “Nana Camp”: 12 kids, one RV, one cabana and a whole lot of fun and games
- This should be the summer you save your grandkids from their cell phones