San Diego

E-bike and e-scooter injuries on the rise, especially for kids, new report shows

Rady Children’s Hospital says they’ve already seen more than twice as many e-bike injuries this year compared to last year

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Startling new statistics are adding to the growing concerns about e-bikes.

A new report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows more people across the country are riding e-bikes. They are also being linked to more accidents, especially among children.

Key findings from the report

According to the CPSC report, there were more than 360,000 emergency department visits related to e-bikes, e-scooters and hover boards between 2017 and 2022. Roughly 36% of those injured were children 14 years old and younger.

The report also found the number of injuries increased by 21% in 2022, compared to the year before.

A pediatric surgeon's perspective

Rady Children’s Hospital pediatric surgeon Dr. Romeo Ignacio said he believes this is “the tip of the iceberg.”

“You're seeing more and more children having these and they go fairly fast,” Ignacio said. “Most people don't realize they can go up to 20- 28 miles. That's quite fast, and the class 2 vehicles, they have a throttle, which has a huge acceleration.”

Dr. Ignacio said last year, they treated 14 young patients with e-bike injuries. This year, they’ve already seen 35 and it’s only October.

“Some of those are really severe. We've seen a rise in solid organ injuries, a rise in head injuries. We've even had a couple of deaths in our area,” he said.

In many cases, Ignacio said the children weren’t wearing helmets.

“Unfortunately, our studies have shown that maybe even half, and that's really a high number. Sometimes that number is as low as 30% of individuals are wearing their helmets and stuff,” Ignacio said. “The ones that we see with the severe injuries are the ones who are not wearing their helmets.”

Ignacio said the majority of patients they treat for e-bike injuries are adolescents, but they have treated patients as young as 4 years old.

“I want parents to know that e-bikes shouldn't be with a young child that has never ridden a bike,” he said. “It should be someone who has ridden a bike, who has experience, who has the training, and more importantly, that they have the knowledge of what these bikes can do as far as speed and acceleration.”

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