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Recommendations and Reports
December 15, 2000/Vol. 49/RR-15
Contact: David Ashford, M.D.
MMWR Fact Sheet
Fact Sheet: Preventing Unpowered Scooter-related Injuries
How large a problem are unpowered scooter-related injuries in the United States?
Who is sustaining these injuries?
How serious are these injuries?
How can someone reduce the risk of injury?
Lightweight aluminum scooters are new products, so there has not been time to conduct a study demonstrating the effectiveness of particular safety gear. However, methods of preventing injuries have been proven for in-line skating, roller skating, and bicycle riding, activities similar in many ways to riding a scooter. Consequently, until studies testing safety gear for riding scooters are completed, CDC and CPSC recommend following the safety precautions proven to be effective for skating and bicycle riding. For example, using helmets may prevent 85% of head injuries. Elbow pads may prevent 82% of elbow injuries. And knee pads may prevent 32% of injuries to the knee.
Special Notice to Media
The MMWR will not be published on Friday, December 29, 2000.
Synopsis for December 15, 2000
Houseboat-Associated Carbon Monoxide Poisonings on Lake Powell — Arizona and Utah, 2000
In August 2000, two brothers, 8 and 11 years of age, drowned in Lake Powell as a result of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
Because several CO-related deaths had occurred on boats of similar design (extended stern deck with a water-level swim platform, generator and engines exhausting into the airspace beneath the deck) , the U.S. National Park Service at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (which contains Lake Powell) joined with other Federal agencies to investigate CO poisonings occurring between 1990–2000, and to characterize CO concentrations. The 5 additional fatal and 30 nonfatal outdoor CO poisonings that occurred on Lake Powell, under circumstances similar to those in the August deaths, indicate the need to redesign old and new boats to reduce the hazard. Additionally, the very high CO concentrations measured outdoors (up to 30,000 parts per million) around and under the stern deck point to a need for increased public and medical community awareness of the risk for CO poisoning.
Unpowered Scooter Injuries — United States, 1998–2000
People who choose to ride lightweight, unpowered scooters or who buy scooters for their children can reduce the risk of injury by following a few simple safety precautions.
A descriptive analysis conducted by researchers at CDC and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that from January through October, 2000, an estimated 27,600 people sought emergency department care for unpowered scooter-related injuries. Eighty-five percent of the injuries were to children younger than 15 years old, and 23% were to children younger than 8 years old. Two-thirds of those injured were males. The most common types of injuries were fractures or dislocations, lacerations, contusions, and strains or sprains. The arm or hand were most commonly injured, followed by the head or face, and the leg or foot. To reduce the risk of injury, researchers recommend that scooter riders wear a helmet, use elbow and knee pads, and ride during daylight on smooth surfaces without any traffic. Adults should closely supervise young children who ride scooters.
Human Rabies — California, New York, Georgia, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, 2000
Consider rabies in the differential diagnosis of any case of rapidly progressive encephalitis.
There have been 5 human rabies deaths (California, Georgia, Minnesota, New York, and Wisconsin) in the United States in the past 3 months. Four of the five deaths were due to rabies virus variants that are associated with bats in the United States. Anyone with direct contact with a bat should seek medical attention to evaluate the need for rabies vaccination. One of the five persons who died was a resident of Ghana that had been bitten by a dog before traveling to the United States. Anyone bitten or scratched by any animal should thoroughly wash all wounds and seek medical attention to evaluate the need for rabies vaccination. While human rabies is rare in the United States (these are the first cases since December 1998), providers should consider the possibility of rabies for anyone with an acute central nervous system (brain) infection.
This page last reviewed Friday, December 15, 2000
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention