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Electric scooter injuries increased more than 70% in youth age 18 and younger from 2020–2021, says new analysis

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Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

As standing electric scooters (e-scooters) have become an increasingly popular mode of transportation, new research finds a 71% increase in injuries reported in children and teens ages 18 and younger from 2020 to 2021, with limited use of helmets resulting in the head as the most injured body part.

The abstract, "Pediatric Injuries Associated with Riding Electric Scooters from 2020 to 2021," provides an analysis of data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database (NEISS) that will be presented during the 2023 AAP National Conference & Exhibition at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

"As more and more children and adolescents turn to using , it is critical that physicians, policymakers, and researchers work together to develop safe riding practices and proper infrastructure such as the enforcement of helmet use during rides and the institution of more bike and scooter lanes," said Radhika Gupta, at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Over the 2-year study period, U.S. emergency departments reported 13,557 injuries related to within the pediatric population. The number of injuries increased 71%, from 5,012 in 2020 compared with 8,545 in 2021. Of these patients, a majority were , ages 16 to 18, with most injuries reported in the spring and summer.

The most common primary diagnosis was fracture, and the most injured body part was the head. Among cases in which helmet use was reported, only 32% reported wearing a helmet at the time of . Among patients with head injuries, nearly 67% were not wearing a helmet at the time of injury. Additionally, nearly 15% of all cases mentioned motor vehicle involvement, and almost 10% of cases mentioned hitting obstacles such as uneven ground or potholes.

The author notes that electric scooters are an important part of the micromobility segment, and many are sized and powered for adults.

"This research highlights the need for communities to try to stay ahead of this trend by working to develop public safety measures that may include creating bicycle and scooter lanes in suburban and , ensuring even pavement in riding areas, promoting helmet use among e-scooter riders, and educating motor vehicle drivers on how to maintain safe distances," said Todd Lawrence, MD, the senior author on the paper and a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

More information: Abstract Title: Pediatric Injuries Associated with Riding Electric Scooters from 2020 to 2021 

Citation: Electric scooter injuries increased more than 70% in youth age 18 and younger from 2020–2021, says new analysis (2023, October 20) retrieved 4 March 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2023-10-electric-scooter-injuries-youth-age.html
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