Emergency Care For You

Scooter Safety for Kids

Require your child to wear a helmet whenever riding a scooter. Helmets reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent.

Children have enjoyed foot-propelled scooters for decades, and today's scooters-with their sleek designs and fast wheels-have made a comeback in popularity. But these so-called toys are not as harmless as they may seem.

"Today's scooters go very fast, so the possibility of a child losing control greatly increases," said Greg Walker, M.D., of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). "Any sort of device that puts children on wheels and allows them to move quickly sets them up for injury."

Each year, thousands of children under age 15 are rushed to the emergency department with scooter-related injuries and the numbers are on the rise. The good news is that the majority of these injuries are preventable if safety measures are followed.

ACEP provides the following tips on scooter safety to help prevent serious injury to your child:

  • Parents should inspect scooters closely for any loose parts or design flaws before allowing a child to ride.
  • Scooter-riders should wear a helmet along with knee and elbow pads.
  • Children are advised not to wear wrist guards because they may impair their ability to steer the scooter sufficiently.
  • Only allow children to ride scooters after they have demonstrated good judgment, strength and coordination.
  • Children younger than age 8 should only ride scooters when supervised by an adult. This age group accounts for one-fourth of all scooter-related injuries.
  • Scooters should only be ridden on smooth, paved surfaces and away from any traffic. Avoid streets and surfaces with water, sand, gravel or dirt.
  • Scooters should only be ridden during daylight hours.