Background/purpose: The sudden popularity of the "scooter phenomenon" was followed by an increased rate of injuries associated with its use. This study evaluates the circumstances, types, degrees, and mechanisms of injury related to the use of a scooter in the pediatric population.
Methods: From January 2000 to February 2001, the emergency files of all the children arriving at the authors' institutions with a diagnosis of "scooter related trauma" were reviewed.
Results: One hundred fifty-six cases were recorded; 48% of patients were between 10 and 13 years old; 66.6% were boys. There was a incidence peak in September and October. Trauma locations were as follows: face (47.5%), ankle (17.9%), wrist (17.3%), knee (11.5%), and head trauma (12%). Eighty-five percent healed within 1 to 4 weeks; 16.6% needed hospitalization. Fractures occurred in 31% of cases; 38% of these required surgical treatment. Concerning the mechanisms of injury, 45% occurred on the street and sidewalk, 44% of which resulted from collisions with a motor vehicle, 33% were caused by inefficient braking, and 15% were related to a mechanical problem with the scooter's structure.
Conclusions: The authors observed a shift in the children's interest from roller skates toward the scooter. Research on scooter injury prevention needs to be improved, and a program needs to be promoted to reduce the number and the severity of related injuries. For now the authors would recommend head, mainly face, wrist, and ankle protections.
Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.