An estimated five million scooters will be sold this year and according to the US Product Safety Commission, 26,000 scooter-related injuries were reported prior to the end of December 2000! 90 percent of those injuries were in children under the age of 14. The Consumer Product Safety Advisor also received reports of two deaths related to scooter injuries. Several elementary schools are discussing ways to prohibit children from skateboarding to school. Newspapers across the country headline “Scooters Lead to ER Visits!”
Before you accept the media hype about the dangers of last year’s most popular Christmas present, you should educate yourself by considering the statistics of other play equipment commonly used by these same children.
In 1999, the US Statistical Summary reported 566,085 bicycle-related injuries. Skateboard-related injuries that same year totaled 35,751. Doubling those statistics, injuries were recorded on playground equipment with 73,933 accidents. If you’re not fed up with the statistics yet, consider that there were 63,600 injured on ATVs.
What does this tell us? Wear a helmet! Wearing a safety helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent! These statistics can help educated parents (also known as consumers) to realize that scooters are no more dangerous than other gaming equipment if basic safety guidelines are followed.
- Tight-fitting helmets and protective gear must be worn at all times.
- As with any equipment, children should not ride in the street.
- The scooter should only be used during daylight hours.
- Children 5-8 years old must be under the supervision of an adult when using a scooter.
- Scooters are not recommended for children under the age of 4.
- Ride scooters on smooth, hard surfaces free of rocks and debris.
Rather than trying to prohibit “potential” dangers, I suggest that we educate ourselves as parents and children. Use wisdom and remember safety equipment without buying media advertising.