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Tips to Prevent Scooter-Related Injuries

  [ 135 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • April 11, 2003


The popular new version of the foot-propelled scooter has taken the U.S. market by storm. They are lightweight and can be folded for easy portability. As sales soar, so do the injuries related to scooters.

Scooter-related injuries have continued to increase in the past several years and orthopaedic surgeons nationwide are urging parents to be aware of the risks associated with un-powered scooters.

"With the increased popularity and affordability of new scooters, parents need to be aware of the dangers associated with them," explained Stuart Weinstein, MD, pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Very often, children do not wear protective gear and are not fully aware of important safety precautions."

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in the year 2001 there were more than 234,000 injuries related to un-powered scooters costing over $252 million in medical, legal, work loss and pain and suffering expenses.

In one month alone, over 8,600 scooter injuries surpassed inline skating injuries. Most injuries were caused when riders fell from the scooter. Fractures and dislocations accounted for 29 percent of the injuries and 85 percent of the injuries were to children less than 15 years old. The majority of the fractures and dislocations involved the upper extremities.

To bring greater awareness to this problem and offer guidelines on reducing injuries, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons aims to decrease scooter accidents through its ongoing national public education campaign, Prevent Injuries America!. Following these safety tips can reduce scooter-related injuries:

*Wear protective gear including a helmet, wrist protectors, knee/elbow pads.
*Wear sturdy shoes. Never wear bare sandals or flimsy footwear.
*Children under the age of 8 should not operate a scooter.
*Be familiar with the steering, handling and brake system.
*Practice riding in a closed, protected area.
*Avoid steep hills, slippery/uneven surfaces and crowded walkways/streets.
*Obey traffic signs.
*Never operate the scooter at night.



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