The contributing factors associated with injury while riding a scooter include children riding on road ways, uneven ground, inability to avoid obstacles and performing risky manoeuvres.1
Of children seen in emergency departments for injuries while riding a scooter, approximately 35 per cent are fractures. Six per cent of all scooter-related injuries to children result in brain injury.2
A properly fitted helmet helps protect the head by absorbing the force from a crash or a fall, decreasing the risk of serious head and brain injury by as much as 80 per cent.3, 4 This means that four out of five brain injuries can be prevented if every child riding a scooter wears a helmet.
Bike helmets are recommended for scooters because this activity is similar to biking and in-line skating. No standards have been set for helmets for scooter riders in particular.
Helmets sold in Canada are certified by CSA (Canadian Standards Association), CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), Snell, or ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials).
The use of wrist guards is not recommended because they may interfere with steering.1, 5, 6 Elbow pads and knee pads may protect against injury, although there is limited scientific evidence for this.
1 Chapman S, Webber C, O'Meara M. Scooter injuries in children. J Paediatr Child Health 2001;37(6):567-70.
2 Public Health Agency of Canada. Injuries associated with wheeled, non-motorized devices. In. Ottawa: The Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP), All ages, 1990-2007.
3 Thompson DC, Rivara F, Thompson R. Helmets for preventing head and facial injuries in bicyclists. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009(1).
4 Attewell RG, Glase K, McFadden M. Bicycle helmet efficacy: a meta-analysis. Accid Anal Prev 2001;33(3):345-52.
5 Zalavras C, Nikolopoulou G, Essin D, Manjra N, Zionts LE. Pediatric fractures during skateboarding, roller skating, and scooter riding. Am J Sports Med 2005;33(4):568-73.