Injuries in children associated with the use of nonmotorized scooters

J Pediatr Surg. 2003 Nov;38(11):1612-5. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3468(03)00571-2.


Background/purpose: Since 2000, a substantial increase in injuries related to nonmotorized scooters (kickboards) has been observed among children. The authors conducted a population-based prospective study to characterize these injuries in comparison with skateboard-related injuries during the same period.

Methods: All children (age <16 years) presenting with a scooter-related injury between July and October 2000 in Graz (Austria) and all children presenting with a scooter- or skateboard-related injury between June and September 2001 in Helsinki, Finland were interviewed at the time of seeking medical attention.

Results: One hundred thirteen patients with scooter injuries and 72 patients with skateboard injuries were recorded. The 4-month calculated incidence in children less than 16 years of age was 0.72 per 1,000 for scooter injuries and 0.68 per 1,000 for skateboard injuries. The scooter injuries accounted for 1.9% and the skateboard injuries for 2.6% of all pediatric traumas within the respective catchment areas. The majority of the patients in both groups were boys. The patients with scooter injuries were younger than the patients with skateboard injuries (mean age 10.2 +/- 2.7 v 12.5 +/- 2.4 years; P <.001). Most of the scooter-related accidents were claimed to be caused by the wheels of the scooter getting caught by uneven ground, whereas most skateboard accidents occurred during attempted trick maneuvers. Protective gear was seldom used. More than half of the scooter-related injuries were minor bruises, wounds, or contusions. One third of the patients sustained a fracture, usually involving the upper extremity distal to the elbow. The only life-threatening injury was a ruptured spleen in a skateboarder. The injury pattern of scooter and skateboard injuries was similar.

Conclusions: Public awareness of the potential dangers related to scooter riding should be increased and the use of protective gear encouraged.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology
  • Austria / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Contusions / epidemiology
  • Contusions / etiology
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data
  • Skating / injuries
  • Splenic Rupture / etiology