Roller-skating is a trend that had never quite gone out of style. Since their inception, roller-skates have fascinated and excited kids. Before enrolling your child in roller-skating classes, be sure to weigh the benefits and risks and of roller-skating for kids. Wondrfly has compiled a handy guide on how to handle your child’s interest in roller-skating, so you can stop sweating the small stuff and start having fun!
What are the Benefits of Skating for Kids?
- New Skills and Confidence
Learning to roller-skate can be challenging but mastering that challenge can allow your child’s confidence to skyrocket!
- Motor Skills and Physical Fitness
Skating is great exercise and allows kids to build muscle strength, range of motion, balance, and coordination. Skating also makes physical activity fun and appealing to kids who may struggle to get the recommended 30-minutes a day.
- Provides a Social Outlet
Roller-skating is a social activity which is accessible to people of all ages.This makes it a great family bonding activity!
- Boosts Cognitive Function
Studies have shown that kids’ cognitive development can benefit enormously from regular physical activity. Getting your child active will enhance their future academic performance and their ability to continue learning new skills.
What Are the Risks of Kids Skating?
The major physical risks of roller-skating are the same for kids as they are for adults. Possible injuries can occur due to falls, and it’s important to safeguard against this by having your child fitted for knee, wrist, and elbow pads. It’s vital to consult with your pediatrician to ensure your child is at the correct stage of motor development for roller-skating. Giving roller-skates to a child who has not developed sufficient balance and core strength can be nothing but trouble! Additionally, injuries be caused by improperly fitting skates, so be sure to choose your skates carefully!
How to Choose the Right Skates For Your Child
Here are some tips to keep in mind when fitting your child for roller-skates:
- Know your child’s shoe size. Skates usually fit true to your child’s street shoe size. However most skates are adjustable and cover multiple sizes, which brings us to our next point.
- Adjustable skates are sized differently. Children’s skates often cover multiple sizes to allow for rapid growth. This means that if your child wears a size 4 street shoe, they can technically wear a size 3-4 or size 4-5 skate.
- Allow for growth. It’s always a good idea to allow for some growing room in kids’ skates. This will usually mean that if your child wears a size 4 street shoe, you’ll want to choose a size 4-5 over a size 3-4 skate. Even if the skates are available, for example, in only 3-4 and 5-6 sizes, a size 5 will likely fit your child tightly enough for safe skating.
- Skates take time to break in. If the skates are slightly uncomfortable for your child at first, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve bought the wrong size. As long as the skates pass the pencil test (see below), and skating in them isn’t painful for your child, they’re good to go! It might take up to six skating sessions to break skates in, though.
- Look for high cuffs for added stability. This can minimize the risk of ankle and foot injuries!
- Wear socks while trying on skates. This ensures the fit of the skates will be accurate.
- Ensure the heel is in its pocket. Before standing on the skates to try them out, have your child kick their heel backwards to ensure it’s in the heel pocket of the skates. This will help you accurately evaluate the fit of the skates.
The Pencil Test:
Try this simple test to find out whether a pair of skates is the right fit for your kid!
Have your child put on their skates and kick their toes to the front of the skates so that they touch the tip. Then have them stand on the skate with their foot forward, toes touching the tip. Place a pencil in the space between their heel and the back of the skate. If it fits with just a little wiggle room, the skates are a good fit.
To explore more kids’ activities like skating, check out Wondrfly.com, the internet’s one-stop-shop for learning about activities in your area!