The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has reported that emergency room-treated injuries relating to popular lightweight scooters has increased sixteen-fold in recent years. In these recent years, there have been a signifi cant number of scooter-related injuries treated in emergency rooms throughout the United States, and some of these injuries have resulted in death. A large percentage of these injuries were to children below 15 years of age.
CPSC recommends that riders, and especially children, wear proper safety gear, including a helmet and knee and elbow pads to help prevent injuries. CPSC has estimated that more than half of the injuries could have been prevented or reduced in severity if protective gear had been worn by scooter riders.
These scooters, which first went on the market in the Unites States, are new versions of the foot propelled scooters that were first popular in the 1950s. They are made of lightweight metal and have small low friction wheels similar to those on inline skates. They usually cost between $50 and $120, typically weigh less than 10 pounds, and can be folded for easy portability.
Most injuries occurred when riders fell from the scooter. Fractures and dislocations, primarily to the arms and hands, accounted for about one-quarter of the injuries. The best investment against injury is protective gear, which can typically cost less than $30.
CPS recommends that riders adhere to the following safety guidelines:
- Always wear a helmet that meets CPSC’s bike helmet standard, along with knee and elbow pads
- Make sure both handle bars and the steering columns are securely locked in place before riding
- Routinely check all nuts and bolts to be sure they are secure
- Always ride the scooters on smooth, paved surfaces without any motor vehicle traffic. You should avoid streets, or surfaces with water, sand, gravel, and dirt
- Do not ride the scooter at night