Scooter injuries in children

J Paediatr Child Health. 2001 Dec;37(6):567-70. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1754.2001.00763.x.


Objectives: To study the causes, patterns of injury and use of safety equipment in children presenting with 'push/kick' scooter-related injuries. To draw comparisons with in-line skate, skateboard and bicycle injuries and to suggest strategies for injury prevention.

Methods: A retrospective review of medical data was undertaken for 12 consecutive months to September 2000. All children aged < 15 years who had attended the Sydney Children's Hospital with scooter, in-line skate (rollerblade), skateboard or bicycle injuries were identified. Children with scooter injuries for the latter 6 month period were contacted by telephone and interviewed, together with their parents, using a structured questionnaire.

Results: There was a marked rise in the number of scooter injuries from October 1999 to September 2000. Sixty-one per cent of these injuries occurred during the final 3 months of the study period, making scooters the most common cause of injury in the studied groups for this period. Forty-two per cent of scooter injuries were fractures. Only 3% of children used safety equipment at the time of injury, despite 86% owning some form of safety equipment. Children were less likely to use safety equipment with a scooter than with any other form of activity studied. (Chi-squared P=0.000).

Conclusions: Scooters are a common cause of childhood injury, resulting in injury patterns similar to those caused by in-line skates, skateboards and bicycles. Safety equipment is rarely worn when scooters are ridden. Injury patterns and riding styles suggest that if existing guidelines for in-line skating, skateboarding and bicycling are modified and applied to scooters, a reduction in injury numbers may be achieved.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Accident Prevention*
  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Head Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • New South Wales / epidemiology
  • Play and Playthings
  • Probability
  • Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution