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from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Diseases & Conditions



Staying Healthy

Scooter-Related Injury Prevention

Scooters, both manual and electric, are a popular way for kids of all ages to be active and get around. However, scooters can be dangerous when ridden around traffic or at a fast speed. In 2017, more than 81,000 visits were made to hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to scooters, according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). Of these, more than 48,000 were related to manual scooters. Common injuries include cuts, sprains, and fractures of the wrist and elbow. The most serious scooter-related injuries can damage the head.

Many scooter injuries are preventable if you follow some simple safety tips. Most importantly, no matter what your age or experience level, you should wear a helmet to protect your head from injury when riding a scooter.

The following tips for parents and kids can help prevent scooter-related injuries.

Tips for Parents

  • Only allow a child to use a scooter if he or she has demonstrated good judgment, strength, and coordination. Children younger than 8 years old should not use a scooter.
  • Check the height and weight restrictions for the scooter to make sure it is the appropriate size for your child.
  • Before allowing your child to ride, inspect the scooter for loose parts and ensure that the steering column and handlebars are locked into place.
  • Supervise children of all ages closely the first few times they ride. Younger children who ride should be supervised at all times.

Tips for Kids

  • When learning how to ride your scooter, practice in a safe, open area. Be sure you know how to steer properly and use the brakes.
  • Always wear protective gear when riding a scooter. This includes:
    • Helmet
    • Wrist guards
    • Knee and elbow pads
  • Wear sneakers or other close-toed shoes that will protect the tops and bottoms of your feet. Do not go barefoot or wear flip-flops.
  • Avoid riding in dangerous settings. Do not ride on slippery or uneven ground, on crowded sidewalks or streets, or downhill on steep hills.
  • Wear bright clothes and avoid riding at dusk or at night.
  • Do not do any jumps, tricks, or stunts.

Source: US Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (Accessed May 2018).

Last Reviewed

June 2018

AAOS does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products, or physicians referenced herein. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific orthopaedic advice or assistance should consult his or her orthopaedic surgeon, or locate one in your area through the AAOS Find an Orthopaedist program on this website.