Kids and Scooters

A young boy wearing glasses smiling and resting his face in his hands

Scooter injuries have skyrocketed since May, sending a total of 27,600 people to emergency rooms (including over 23,000 children), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report in the December 15th, 2000 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. On the other hand, scooter use has skyrocketed even more — from virtually zero this time last year up to about 5 million scooters now sold. While two people have died tragically while using a scooter (an adult fell and struck his head while showing his daughter how to ride the scooter and a 6-year-old boy rode into traffic and was struck by a car) most injuries were cuts, bruises, strains, sprains, or broken arms. Riding in a car is more dangerous than riding on a scooter.

I am excited about the scooter craze. It is a fun way to get children moving, active, and outdoors. It is a nice counterbalance to the huge sedentary pull of school, computers, video games, and television. As with riding a bicycle, the key is to use scooters safely. Helmets are a must. Pads are wise in most situations. And these marvelous scooters are designed for use during daylight hours on smooth, paved surfaces without traffic. Water, sand, gravel, or dirt increase the risk of falls. Be careful with scooters, but have a great time!

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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