Scooters Recalled Due to Handlebar Defects
Dec. 7, 2000 -- Nearly 100,000 of those foot-propelled scooters
that have become a global fad -- and are sure to be under lots of Christmas
trees this year -- have been recalled. Various handlebar defects put riders at
risk of losing control and suffering injuries.
About 90,000 Kent Kickin' Mini Scooters are being voluntarily
recalled because the scooter handles can come out of the steering column,
causing riders to lose control and possibly suffer injuries. Kent International
has received four reports of the handles coming out. Four children sustained
injuries, including broken arms, a broken wrist, cuts and bruises, and a
About 7,500 Kash 'N Gold Racer X20 Scooters also are being
voluntarily recalled because a plastic joint between the handlebars can break
and possibly cause riders to lose control. Two injuries resulting from the
joint breaking have been reported -- a bump on the head and a chest bruise.
"On the Kickin' Mini Scooter, a nine-year-old girl broke
both of her arms. That's a pretty serious injury," Mark Ross, a spokesman
for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, tells WebMD.
Federal safety officials say that about 30,000 riders have
ended up in the emergency room with various injuries, with more than half
occurring since August.
A six-year-old New Jersey boy was killed when he ran into a car
while riding one, and an adult died in Virginia after hitting his head. The
Consumer Product Safety Commission says these and other cases add up to a
dramatic 18-fold increase in injuries during the past few months.
But federal safety authorities aren't recommending that people
avoid scooters. "We're saying that if you do use scooters, that you also
use the safety equipment -- the helmet, the elbow and the knee pads -- which we
know help reduce the severity of injuries," Ross tells WebMD. "In some
jurisdictions, it may be law. And some areas are trying to make it law that
children have to wear helmets with scooters."
Still, because of the type of injuries that are occurring, more
than just a helmet should be worn. Speaking to WebMD last week, Deborah
Mulligan-Smith, MD, a pediatric emergency physician for the North Broward
Hospital District in South Florida said because children will outstretch their
arms to brace a fall, "a third of the injuries are fractures and
dislocations of the arms. [And] we get plenty of bruises, [cuts], sprains, and
strains, of course."
And she fears it could get worse: "One of our concerns is
that the scooters coming out for the holidays are more high-tech," with
some even motorized. "We're worried we're going to see more head
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is just one of many
groups calling for the use of basic safety equipment. The American Medical
Society recommends scooter riders, especially children and adolescents, wear
certified helmets, wrist guards, elbow and knee pads. The medical association
also recommends close supervision of riders younger than eight.