SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Parents are being warned about the risks of riding dockless scooters, following an influx of scooter-related injuries in the San Diego area.
Local hospitals are seeing a growing number of people coming in with injuries from riding the electric scooters, including a 9-year-old girl from City Heights who broke her leg in a scooter crash on Monday.
The girl was riding a Bird dockless scooter, a popular brand, which writes on its website that people under the age of 18 are not supposed to rent or ride their scooters.
Bird wrote a statement to 10News, indicating that they have "features in place to prevent minors from accessing our vehicles, including requiring riders to upload a driver's license and confirm they are 18 or older."
Despite this, dockless scooters are often parked in places that are easily accessible to younger people, such as in front of schools, on boardwalks and in neighborhoods.
Shahed Samadi, an urgent care doctor at Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Center, said about a quarter of the patients he sees come in from scooter accidents are kids and warns that their injuries can be especially severe.
"Brains are still developing, so more prone to non-traumatic brain injuries, concussions," Samadi said.
Samadi said what makes the scooters especially dangerous for kids is they are more likely to be reckless or distracted while riding.
"Kids are having fun, they're listening to music, they're not aware of their surroundings," he said.
The San Diego Police Department has gotten involved, and are on the lookout for any riders who are under 15-and-a-half or who don't have a driving learners permit.