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Those Popular Scooters are Dangerous Say Safety Officials

You can always spot a kid, the ones up to date with the latest fad. Many kids say the new scooters are so cool, they feel they don't need a helmet. Some even say that when you fall off a scooter, you usually don't fall anywhere near your head.

That "usually" is probably of great comfort to parents nationwide as they watch their children scoot off.

"We're seeing kids that are having injuries...everywhere from head injuries to hand and finger and elbow injuries...down to knee and leg injuries," says Robert Mendelson, MD of Portland, Oregon.

Injuries on the Rise

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), injuries from scooter accidents have gone up 700% since May. There were more last month than all of last year and 90% of those injuries were suffered by kids 15 or younger.

"No child under 8 should be using this without close parental supervision," says Ann Brown, CPSC chairperson. "They are just too difficult for kids," she adds. "They don't have the dexterity to do it."

At stores like Sharper Image, there is no question this is the hottest trend going.

"This scooter is about the hottest item we've had in our 20 year history," says Joel Isler, manager at the Sharper Image. "It's been phenomenal."

Fad may Fade

But it's not good news for parents fearing a school year full of emergency room visits. You can reduce your child's risk of serious injury by buying a helmet and pads, and experts say the fad will soon run its course.

"Once everyone has a scooter, then no one else wants it," Kristine Koerber, stock analyst at WR Hambrecht Co. "We don't think this is a craze that's going to last forever."

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