New Fad May Scoot Riders Right Into the Emergency RoomMechtild
Dec. 1, 2000 — The latest trend that’s beyond any doubt to be under lots of Christmas trees this year could be perilous and even dangerous. That’s the latest news from the Consumer Item Safety Commission on those bikes that each kid in America appears to need.
A six-year-old Unused Jersey boy was killed when he ran into a car while riding one, and an adult kicked the bucket in Virginia after hitting his head. The commission says these and other injuries include up to a dramatic increase amid the past few months. For the complete year, the total stands at around 30,000 crisis room visits, more than half of them happening since Admirable.
“I haven’t listened of any administrative action coming,” says Mark Ross, commission representative. “What we’re trying to do is head off the number of injuries by making sure everyone realizes that if safety equipment is used, it can ward off injuries. This can be a two-wheel vehicle. It can go quick. You can fall off. And you’ll be harmed.”
Mike Mello, MD, of the Damage Prevention Center in Providence, R.I., agrees: “I’m not prepared to say it’s the vehicle itself. These are not weapons of mass destruction. But they can be used in a much safer way.”
Mello and others held a press conference final week on the subject of scooters, after an area man took his nine-year-old daughter’s scooter out for a spin, fell and died from a head damage. And a nine-year-old helmetless scooter-rider was extremely harmed in the Provision area when he was hit by a car.
“They’re not horrible. But they do have an hazardous inclination if not utilized properly,” Mello says. Yet to be seen is whether specialists in Rhode Island feel the same way. Mello says that recently introduced enactment could make helmet-wearing a state law for scooter-riders.
Meanwhile, the wounds are piling up — and not fair in Rhode Island. “A third of the injuries are fractures and separations of the arms,” since children will outstretch their arms to brace a fall, explains Deborah Mulligan-Smith, MD, a pediatric crisis physician for the North Broward Clinic District in South Florida. “We get plenty of bruises, [cuts], sprains, and strains, of course.” And she fears it may get more awful: “One of our concerns is that the bikes coming out for the occasions are more high-tech,” with a few even motorized. “We’re worried we’re reaching to see more head injuries.” Mulligan-Smith says doctors are still attempting to get a handle on the relative severity of the scooter-injury issue — and what sorts of wounds they are most likely to cause.
Everyone seems to agree, though, that injuries are much less likely on the off chance that essential security equipment is used: a Shopper Item Security Commission-approved helmet most vitally — and also knee, elbow and wrist pads. “[Bikes] allow more speed and less control,” says Mary Aitken, MD, collaborator teacher of pediatrics at the College of Arkansas in Little Shake. “In the event that individuals want to enjoy these things they ought to use the right gear.”
They moreover need to stay out of activity. One of commission’s essential guidelines is fair that, Ross says. And Florida is taking it indeed further. Mulligan-Smith says police there will ticket those who ride bikes on the street — or, on the off chance that it’s a child, will ticket the guardians.
Pamela Johnston, representative for the Toy Manufacturers Association, says a lack of parental supervision has been the major problem with the scooters: “The concern is almost the guardians not following proper safety procedures,” she says. “There are numerous good parents who do not know the nuts and bolts.” She adds, “Any injury, any passing, is annoying to the industry as well as the guardians. I think since bikes are modern, energizing, and fun, people want the freedom and they overlook the security safety measures they should take.”
But essentially wearing protective equip isn’t enough, says the American Physical Treatment Association. There’s too the issue of overstraining certain muscle bunches. “When a muscle gather is inflexible, or a joint is limited because of muscle tightness, then the muscles on the opposite side of a joint have to be compelled to work harder,” says spokesperson Steve Tippett, a physical specialist at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. To prevent injury, riders ought to extend, he says, not for each trip on a scooter, but on extended outings. “The enormous [muscles] to stretch would be the hip flexors, the hamstrings, and the calves.” Some simple wall works out can finish most of the stretching needs.
In case parents are still mulling over the purchase of a scooter — that is, if they can get their hands on one, because they are going fast — they might need to inquire a few questions approximately its performance. Autonomous security administration specialist Les Fisher, MPH, of Albany, N.Y., has a few: “What are the benchmarks for velocity? What are the guidelines for braking? What are the measures for control?” Would he buy a scooter for his child? “I would falter … I would try to minimize the peer weight on the off chance that conceivable and show the child I’m concerned almost their well-being.”
But, he admits, that could prove a hard offer.