The number of children hospitalized for electronic scooter injuries rose from 4.2% in 2011 to 12.9% in 2020, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The authors of a research abstract, “National Trends in Pediatric e-Scooter Injury,” examined a national database of pediatric e-scooter injuries that were seen in emergency departments at over 100 US hospitals from 2011-2020.
Researchers found that the rate of hospital admittance increased from fewer than 1 out of every 20 e-scooter injuries in 2011 to 1 out of every 8 injuries in 2020.
The most common e-scooter injuries requiring admittance into a hospital for care were arm fractures (27%), minor abrasions (22%), and lacerations needing stitches (17%). More than 10% of all patients had a head injury, including a concussion, skull fractures, and internal bleeding.
According to a research abstract presented during the 2022 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition, the average age of patients was 11.1 years, and 59% were male.
“Children should absolutely be wearing helmets while riding an e-scooter. Research has broadly demonstrated that helmets save lives for bicycle riders, and we should think similarly about e-scooters,” Harrison Hayward, MD, Emergency Medicine fellow at Children’s National Hospital and a lead author, said in a statement.
The study's authors examined information provided in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database from 2001 through 2020. They found an average of 50,975 fractures reported annually, with about 71% of patients being male aged 10 to 15. According to the abstract, 87% of patients with skull fractures were not wearing helmets.
“Given the results of our study, we recommend targeting bicycle safety efforts toward the most affected populations, largely 10- to 15-year-old boys,” said William Huffman, a medical student. “Teaching road and helmet safety for bicycle riders is paramount to keeping children safe.”