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Scooter Safety

One of this summer's hottest trends is scooters.

Daredevil kids think they're invincible riding them. They seem harmless enough: they're compact, don't travel as fast as rollerblades and they even have handlebars to hold on to.

But as News 2's Paul Moniz reports, don't be fooled: the two-wheeled wonders can cause serious injury.

Last year, the Consumer Safety Product Commission reported 3,300 scooter injuries.

It's still fewer than the 90,000 injuries sustained from inline skating or 60,000 from skateboarding but doctors fear as scooters' popularity rises, so will the number of injuries.

Dr. Gail Chorney of the Hospital for Joint Diseases in Manhattan estimates she sees about six scooter injuries every week.

Younger children mainly break elbows and wrists while the over-9-years-old set break ankles and dislocate kneecaps.

Dr. Chorney says adults hurt themselves more severely.

"When adults go down with greater weight and elasticity in their bodies, they can get a more significant fracture," she says.

Safety experts say scooters can be difficult to balance and because they're so low to the ground, uneven terrain can be dangerous: a small bump can send riders flying.

Taking the right precautions can ensure a safer scooter ride.

Stand up straight and don't lean too far forward, otherwise you can lose your balance.

Use the brakes on the rear or front of the scooter to stop. Dragging your foot on the ground can cause injuries.

Wearing safety gear, such as a helmet and knee and elbow pads, is common sense but it's often overlooked.

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