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Scooter Safety


There are electric scooters and manual scooters that you must push with your foot.  They are a fun way for children to be active and get around.   However, scooters are dangerous when used around cars and traffic. Injuries can also happen if the scooter is moving very fast and you fall off.

Common injuries

According to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, 67,000 kids went to the emergency room because of scooter related accidents.  Over 59,000 of these accidents occurred on manual scooters.    Injuries are as small as minor cuts and bruises but can also be very serious, such as broken bones and head injuries.


  • Children should not use a scooter if they do not have enough balance or coordination.  A child under the age of 8 should never use a scooter.
  • A parent should show the safety features of the scooter to a child before a child rides a scooter. This includes safety gear and brakes. The parents should then watch the child with the scooter in a safe, open area.
  • Before riding – check that the steering column and handlebars are locked into place.  Also check that all nuts and bolts are tight before using the scooter.
  • Children should always wear protective gear when operating a scooter:
    • helmet
    • wrist guards
    • knee and elbow pads
  • Children should wear long pants and long sleeve shirt when operating a scooter.
  • Children should wear proper shoe wear that won’t fall off and will protect the top and bottom of their feet. Sneakers are very protective. Flip-flops are not.
  • Avoid dangerous ground or bad weather:
    • No riding on steep hills
    • No riding over obstacles
    • No riding on slippery, sandy, or icy surfaces
    • No riding on streets or any place where there are cars, buses, or trains.
  • Do not use a scooter at dawn, dusk or at night.
  • Do not do any stunts or jumps.

More Information



  • Incidence and Description of Scooter-related Injuries among Children, Powell EC, Ambulatory Pediatrics, 2004 Nov-Dec; 4(6): 495-9
  • Recreational Injuries in children:  Incidence and Prevention, Purvis JM, JAAOS, Nov/Dec 2001, vol 9 no 6 365-374

Q:  Children in our neighborhood have scooters and now my son wants one – are they safe?

Like any toy with wheels, injuries can happen if the scooter is used without correct training and supervision.  Scooter related injuries most commonly result from falls or crashes. Injuries can occur even if the scooter is a manual scooter that you push with your foot.

Q:  How can I make scooter riding safer for my child?

  • Children under the age of 8 do not have the skill and coordination to use a scooter.
  • In children over the age of 8, using a scooter is safer if the rider has correct training on the scooter
    • With supervision – the child should learn to control his speed and use the brakes
    • Children should practice their falling technique
      • Try to land on fleshy parts rather than bony parts
      • Roll after a fall
      • If falling cannot be avoided, aim for a soft surface such as grass
    • Never use a scooter without safety equipment
  • Before riding the scooter, make sure it is good shape
    • Moving parts are moving freely
    • The brakes work
  • Children should not ride a scooter near any traffic such as cars, buses, or trains
  • Scooters are safest in wide open areas that are not crowded
  • Never ride a scooter while listening to music or talking on a headset. You might not be able to hear a car’s honking horn or a siren.
  • Never ride a scooter on uneven surfaces that are wet, sandy, bumpy or littered with debris
  • Never ride a scooter with low visibility – in the rain, at dusk, dawn or after dark

Q:  What safety equipment does my child need prior to riding a scooter?

  • Well fitting helmet that doesn’t interfere with hearing or vision
  • Wrist guards, knee and elbow pads
  • Since abrasions from falls are the most common injuries from scooter riding, it is recommended to wear long pants and long sleeved shirt
  • Well fitting, supportive shoes (never operate a scooter barefoot or with flip flops)