I recently got my four-year old out on an old trail-a-bike that I picked up at a garage sale. We both feel confident and have a lot of fun, until he starts pedalling. The a few of the times he tried to help out, his feet have slipped off the pedals and left him with a nasty series of bruises all up his shin. I feel so badly for him!
Can anyone suggest a solution to this problem? Foot straps? Would that be unsafe for any reason?
Thanks for your help!
Have you seen Breaking Away? Just kidding, taping his feet to the pedals would be a bad idea.
Look into the pedal/shoe combination you are using. If either or both are slippery they could be contributing to the problem. There are cruiser pedals out there that have a grippy rubber surface that works well with skate style shoes that are also grippy. Finding the shoes in a smaller size might be difficult but you should be able to find a sneaker with some good grip.
You can get shin pads that slip into or over tall socks. Under jeans these will prevent scrapes and bruises until he develops the requisite coordination. If you can't find small enough shin pads, try youth or adult forearm pads. In a pinch, you could make some out of the dense craft foam (like thin semi-rigid styrofoam) sold at craft stores as WonderFoam or EVA foam, and slip them inside his socks to cover the shins. This wouldn't provide a lot of padding, but would prevent scrapes and minimize bruising.
My guess is he'll catch on quickly and won't need shin protection for long.