Q: Do scooters pose risk of injury for children?

A: As with any activity that requires repetitive and vigorous movements, necessary must be taken in order to avoid injury or an accident. One common injury from scooters results from riders dragging their leg in order to slow down. This action increases the risk of injury to the medial collateral ligament, which is the part of the knee. Encourage your children to use the scooter’s brake to slow down and stop.

To avoid stress injuries due to overuse, show your children how to perform leg stretches after playing on the scooters. Limit their riding to half-hour intervals. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, most people ride so that one leg is devoted to pushing off and propelling them along while the other leg always holds the weight and maintains balance. This imbalance can lead to extra strain on the legs. Again, stretching as well as strengthening exercises will help avoid injury. Also, instruct your children to alternate sides of the scooter.

Protective gear such as a padded helmet, kneepads, elbow pads and wrist guards are essential in protecting the child from injury that could result from a fall. The speed of scooters raises the likelihood that a fall will cause injury to the body part that absorbs the impact.

It’s great to buy gifts for your children that promote physical activity, and scooters are no exception. Taking a few precautions will ensure that the gift provides years of pleasure.

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