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Tips to Keep Skateboarders and Scooter Riders Safe

Article

As skateboarders and scooter riders take to the streets this summer, the riskof serious injuries related to these sports increases. Most of those injured arechildren and adolescents. To help you protect your young patients this summer,the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has developed recommendationsfor the safe use of skateboards and scooters.1

As skateboarders and scooter riders take to the streets this summer, the riskof serious injuries related to these sports increases. Most of those injured arechildren and adolescents. To help you protect your young patients this summer,the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has developed recommendationsfor the safe use of skateboards and scooters.1

Each year, skateboard-related injuries are responsible for about 50,000emergency department (ED) visits and 1500 hospitalizations among childrenand adolescents in the United States. The recent increase in the popularity oflightweight non-motor-powered scooters has been accompanied by a rise inthe number of injuries related to their use; they were responsible for an estimated84,400 ED visits between January and September 2001-up from 40,500during the same months in 2000.2

Young children are at greater risk for injury than older children because theyhave a higher center of gravity, a less developed neuromuscular system, poorjudgment, and limited ability to break a fall. Thus, the AAP recommends that childrenyounger than 5 years should not ride skateboards and those between 6 and10 years of age should not ride unsupervised. Children younger than 8 yearsshould not ride scooters. The Table lists other safety recommendations.

 
Table - Safe skateboarding and scooter riding tips
Skateboarding tips
 

Scooter riding tips
 

Adapted from Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention.Pediatrics. 2002.

References:

REFERENCES:1. Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention. Skateboard and scooter injuries. Pediatrics. 2002;109:542-543.
2. US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Scooter data. Available at: http://www.cpsc.gov/PR/prscoot.html.Accessed July 18, 2002.

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