Popular micromobility devices such as electronic bikes and scooters, all-terrain vehicles or ATVs, hoverboards and even the childhood favorite, roller skates, are popular among children and teenagers alike. For many, they make exciting holiday or birthday presents for children. However, with the number of toy-related injuries in children increasing, it’s important for parents to take precautions to protect their children on these devices. Pediatric orthopaedic surgeon Jessica McQuerry, MD, from UF Health’s division of pediatric orthopaedics, an Alliance with Shriners Children’s, has advice that can help protect children on these trendy devices.
Facts About Toy-Related Injuries
- According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, from 2020-21, toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments increased from 198,000 to 206,400.
- 74% of the estimated 206,400 toy-related injuries were sustained by children 14 years or younger and 69% by children 12 years or younger.
- The most common injuries among children from the devices were cuts, fractures, bruises and scrapes.
Source: Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries Calendar Year 2021
Keeping your child safe on micromobility devices
1. What should parents know before allowing their child to ride micromobility devices?
Parents should remember to consider age-appropriate toys in this category. It’s very important that parents also consider safety equipment such as helmets, wrist guards, elbow pads and other items to help protect their child. This is especially important when their child is using the equipment for the first time.
2. What are the most common injuries you’ve seen in children from these types of devices?
Within our practice, we often see children with wrist, forearm and elbow fractures. On some occasions, we see patients with ankle and lower leg fractures.
3. What can parents do to help prevent injuries and keep their child safe?
Parents who allow their children to play on these items should consider a few things, including their child’s individual skill level and age, and the use of safety equipment outlined above.
4. What should parents do if their child is injured?
Children very commonly receive scrapes, which should be cleansed with soap and water. Antibiotic ointment and a dressing or bandage can be applied. If there is obvious deformity of an arm or leg or if the child can’t use the limb, then immobilize the limb with a pillow or splint and visit UF Health ORTHOcare clinic or the emergency room for evaluation by one of our expert orthopaedic surgeons.