Objective: To investigate the incidence and describe the nature of non-motorized scooter related injuries in children presenting to the ED.
Setting: Paediatric ED of a metropolitan tertiary referral hospital.
Methods: A prospective observational study of patients aged under 19 years presenting with injuries sustained while using a non-motorized scooter. Clinicians recorded the data in the patient record.
Main outcome measures: type of injury sustained; period of experience on the scooter; the use of protective gear; the presence of adult supervision; the place of accident; and the patient outcome.
Results: Sixty-two eligible patients were recruited over an 18 month period. The incidence of scooter- related injuries was 1.3% of all paediatric trauma presentations. There was a fall in scooter injury presentations over the study period; however, this was not statistically significant. The most common injury sustained using a scooter was an upper limb fracture (41.9%). Closed head injury comprised 8.1% of all scooter related injuries. The majority of patients were not wearing protective gear and were unsupervised at the time of their accident. Most patients (79%) were managed in the ED and discharged.
Conclusions: There has been no significant change in scooter injury presentations over the two summer periods of 2000 and 2001. Children presenting to the ED with a scooter related injury tend to be primary school aged, which may have implications on scooter design, age recommendations and safety guidelines.