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Rules to play Push Scooters
1. Scooter design
Scooters have small wheels, around 10cm or so. The braking system is not always reliable because the brake cant grip enough surface area on a small wheel and brakes become less effective with age. This, coupled with the low clearance of scooters, means that losing control is quite likely, particularly when riding over rough surfaces such as cobblestones or large cracks in the pavement.
Cheaper scooters may have dangerous design flaws, such as flimsy folding mechanisms that may give way under pressure or sharp edges that increase the risk of injury. Avoid cheaply made scooters and choose a design that matches your childs weight, motor skills and physical development.There is currently no Australian Standard for kick scooters.
2. Common injuries
Falls are the most common cause of injury for Australian children riding scooters. Collisions with cars and pedestrians have also been reported. Common injuries include.
Bone fractures, particularly of the wrist
3. Head injuries
The brain doesnt fill the skull cavity completely. It is suspended in a chemical soup called cerebrospinal fluid, which nourishes the brain and serves as a shock absorber. If a child falls from a fast-moving scooter and hits a hard surface, such as the road, the brain is thrown against the inside of the skull. This causes bruising and swelling of the delicate tissues. Skull fractures and bleeding from sheared vessels around and inside the brain are also possible. Research suggests that safety helmets reduce the risk of head injury by up to 90 per cent.
4. Safety equipment
The essential safety equipment for riding a scooter includes
5. Bicycle helmets
Helmets became compulsory safety equipment for bicyclists and scooter riders in 1990. The approved bicycle helmet must be securely fitted and fastened on the riders head. According to Victorias road safety authority VicRoads, helmets have resulted in a 70 per cent decrease in the number of cyclists injured or killed by head injury.
Helmets are made of foam similar to the foam used for portable coolers like Eskies that absorbs the impact of a fall or blow. Look for the Australian Standards mark when choosing a bicycle helmet. The different types of helmet include
Foam only the foam is covered in fabric
Micro shell the foam is covered in thin plastic
Hard shell the foam is covered in hard plastic.
6. Helmet safety suggestions
Safety suggestions include.
Make sure the helmet fits the childs head comfortably before buying it.
The helmet should sit just above the eyebrows.
A correctly fitted helmet cant be moved around on the head, either forwards and backwards or sideways.
The chinstrap must always be fastened firmly and never twisted.
Impediments like ponytails and hair clips should not be worn.
Always replace helmets after an impact or accident, or if the materials split or deteriorate.
Clean the helmet according to the manufacturers instructions, as some cleaning products may cause damage.
7. Elbow and knee guards
Wrist fractures are particularly common, since falling children will instinctively put out their hand or hands to save themselves. Wrist, elbow and knee guards are designed to bolster and protect these vulnerable joints.
8. Road safety
Road safety suggestions include
Provide a safe learning area while your child masters riding the scooter.
Make sure your child wears their safety equipment every time they ride their scooter, even in the backyard.
Supervise your child when they are riding their scooter.
Dont ever allow a young child to ride their scooter near the road.
Dont allow an older child to ride their scooter near the road until they are proficient at riding.
Make sure your child understands and abides by road rules.
Make sure your child is visible to drivers by dressing them in brightly coloured clothes.
Warn your child of the potential dangers.
9. Things to remember
Scooters are popular with young people.
Falls and collisions with cars and pedestrians are disturbingly common.
Essential safety equipment includes a bicycle helmet and guards for the wrists, elbows and knees.
Parents should supervise their children and make them aware of the potential hazards.
10. The road
Scooters should NOT be used on the road. Motorists will not be expecting to see them among traffic, and because they are so small especially when ridden by children they are difficult to see.
Their small wheels can easily become stuck in drain covers or pot holes bringing the rider to an abrupt halt, and quite likely throwing them to the ground, in front of vehicles.
It is also dangerous to cross roads on a scooter. The temptation is to scoot off the kerb at speed in a bid to beat the traffic. A slight misjudgement could be fatal. It is also dangerous to try to
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