Background: Nonmotorized scooters have increased rapidly in popularity over the past year. However, the morbidity associated with this new type of recreational vehicle is poorly defined. This study examined the pattern of scooter-related injuries sustained in children admitted to a level 1 pediatric trauma center.
Methods: The records of all children admitted to the authors' institution after a scooter-related injury between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2001 were reviewed. Information regarding patient demographics, mechanism of injury, type of injury sustained, and hospital course was prospectively collected and retrospectively analyzed.
Results: During the study period, 27 children were admitted with scooter-related injures. The average age of the patients was 9.1 +/- 1.9 years, and 63% were boys. The average Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 7.9 +/- 6. The most common mechanism of injury was a fall. However, 26% of the patients were involved in a scooter collision with a motor vehicle. Injuries to the head occurred most frequently, followed by extremity injuries. Only 10 of the children (37%) were wearing a helmet at the time of injury.
Conclusions: Scooters are an increasingly popular form of recreational vehicle among children. However, they can result in serious injury, particularly to the head and extremities. The authors recommend that all children riding scooters wear protective equipment and avoid riding in areas that have moving motor vehicles.