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Injury-Causing Scooters Pulled From Market
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 -- Two scooter manufacturers announced the recall of nearly 98,000 scooters, after learning that faulty parts on the scooters had caused riders to fall off and injure themselves.
Kent International Inc. of Parsippany, N.J., and Kash 'N Gold Ltd. of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., announced today that they are voluntarily taking the products off the market, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Kent is recalling about 90,000 scooters, after it received four reports of its scooters' steering columns coming off because the clamps holding them in place were not tight enough. Four children who were riding the scooters suffered injuries, including broken arms, a broken wrist, bruises, cuts and a cracked tooth.
Kickin' Scooters Cause Injuries
The Kent scooters are called Kickin' Mini-Scooters and are made of chrome-plated steel, with a vertical decal on the steering column bearing the word Kickin'. The black plastic platform measures 15 inches and has a 4-inch translucent in-line style wheels. The scooters, which say “Kent” and “Made in China” on the lower part of the steering column, were sold with black backpacks embroidered with the words “Kickin.”
Toys R Us stores nationwide sold the Kent scooters for $60 apiece from May through September of this year. Consumers should stop riding the scooters and call Kent International to receive a free replacement handlebar with pins to secure the handlebars.
For more information, call Kent International, 800-451-KENT between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.
Kash 'N Gold Racer X20 Scooters
Kash 'N Gold is recalling about 7,500 scooters because the plastic “T” joint between the handlebars can break, causing the rider to fall and possibly suffer injuries. The company has received two reports of the joint breaking, resulting in a bump on the head and a chest bruise.
They are Racer X20 model scooters, which have swivel handlebars and foam grips. They were made in China, and are mostly silver with blue, green, red, orange or clear wheels. Discovery and Mervyn's stores and the Discovery Web site sold these scooters nationwide between August 2000 and September 2000 for between $70 and $100.
Consumers should stop riding, and return them to the store for a new scooter with a metal “T” joint, or a refund. For more information, call Kash 'N Gold, at 800-354-8785 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.
Other Warnings Amid Sales Booms
The American Medical Association on Wednesday warned against the dangers of the popular two-wheeled foot-powered scooters, putting a bump in the road for children who might have wanted one for the holidays.
The AMA's House of Delegates voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend that physicians counsel patients and parents about wearing protective gear such as helmets and knee and elbow pads when riding the scooters.
It also recommended other safety measures, such as not riding in traffic.
In addition, the AMA measure asks the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to collect data on scooter injuries, and asks scooter manufacturers to include safe riding tips with their products.
Sales of the fold-up aluminum scooters have boomed since their recent introduction into toy stores and specialty shops. In September, Razor USA's model was the top-selling toy in the nation based on total sales, according to the NPD Group, which tracks toy sales.
But with more children riding scooters, the number of injuries is rising. In September, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that nearly 9,500 people -- almost all of them children -- had been admitted to emergency rooms with scooter-related injuries this year.
Injuries Are Preventable
“The report also says that 63 percent of these injuries are preventable, because they occur on parts of the body that you can protect,” said Dr. Ron Davis of the American College of Preventative Medicine, the agency that took the lead in bringing the issue before the AMA.
He pointed out that on the Web site for Huffy -- maker of the popular Micro mini-scooter -- there was nothing about safety on the pages featuring the scooter. But on the pages advertising the company's bicycles, 10 safety tips were listed.
“Huffy Corporation always recommends the use of appropriate safety equipment and recommends scooters be used by children who are 8 years or older,” said Bill Smith, Miamisburg, Ohio-based Huffy's vice president for sales and marketing. “Our packaging indicates our recommendation on both riders' age and the use of safety gear. Our packaging also features riders wearing safety equipment”.
“These do make appropriate presents for kids, and we don't want to limit the use of the scooter,” said Dr. Stuart Cohen of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a delegate to the AMA convention. “When used appropriately with appropriate protective gear, to quote my son: 'It's an awesome experience.'”
The Associated Press contributed to this report
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 07, 2000