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ER doctor shares tips following Alfonso Ribeiro's daughter's scooter accident

Nov 11, 2023Nov 11, 2023

Alfonso Ribeiro and his wife Angela opened up over the weekend about a recent accident their daughter experienced and thanked doctors for treating her quickly to minimize scarring afterward.

"Not the kind of day you want the day before turning 4," the "America's Funniest Home Videos" host wrote in a Saturday Instagram post, alongside a photo of his daughter Ava with large circular bruises on her face near her right eye and along her right arm.

"Just want to give a heartfelt thank you to @kareskinmd for the emergency service and procedure to help lessen the likelihood of [scarring]. So proud of how brave my baby girl was during the surgery," the father of four added.

In her own Instagram post, Angela Ribeiro explained that she had felt something might go wrong that day, and sure enough, Ava later "crashed off a sit-down scooter."

"My poor baby. I woke up and had a vision/motherly intuition of Ava ending up in the ER today, I announced to the fam, kids, sitter & friends helping out getting ready for Ava's birthday party that 'we are not doing anything crazy or dangerous today that could potentially end up with an ER visit.' I literally made everyone lock eyes to me when I said these words. Sadly, my words were soon forgotten and long story short, this poor girl crashed off a sit-down scooter...the day before her bday," she captioned her post before also thanking Ava's doctor for seeing and treating her after hours.

Sit-down or seated scooters are sold for kids as young as three, with some models that feature a folding or sliding seat and others with removable ones.

Dr. Meghan Martin, a pediatric emergency medicine attending physician at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, told "Good Morning America" she has seen a "very significant increase in accidents from scooters, electric scooters, and even golf carts" among children.

"We do see a lot of head injuries. We do see extremity fractures, arm and leg fractures, either from it being you put your arm out and you fall onto it or the leg getting caught under and getting hurt. And then lots of road rash," Martin said.

"We see a lot of accidents when people come into contact with road hazards, like uneven pavement, potholes, grates, cracks in the road," Martin added. "Those can cause a lot of accidents, especially when you're going 20 miles an hour. Wet surfaces can also be a problem because they do become more slippery."

As for the photo of Ava's bruises, Martin said it appeared the 4-year-old experienced road rash, which can be painful.

"I think the pictures that were released, that poor kiddo has a ton of road rash, and that hurts because all those nerve endings are exposed and it does take a lot of time for that to heal," she explained. "If the wounds are deep enough, sometimes they even need skin grafts to kind of replace the skin to help it grow back."

To avoid future scooter-involved accidents, Martin advised parents to always have children wear protective equipment and clothing, such as long jeans, which offer a barrier versus shorts, which would leave more skin exposed.

"Some things that we can do to help protect us and decrease the risk of injuries, especially on scooters, [is to] always make sure that we're wearing a helmet, protective clothing and even eye protection -- if you can imagine like a bug coming at you at 20 miles an hour and getting into your eye, especially if you're driving that scooter, that could be a problem -- and making sure that you know the most important part of our body is our head and making sure that we're protecting that," she said.

Martin also reminded adults and kids to follow scooter manual instructions, traffic rules like stop signs, and to yield to others when appropriate.

If a child does get injured, she said urgent care is a good option for superficial scratches but recommends seeking care when injuries are more serious.

"When kids are on these devices and they're going 15 or 20 miles per hour, there is a risk for more significant injury, and so I think an emergency department with more resources [is] going to be the most appropriate, especially if there's a broken bone or potential head injury or a deeper wound," Martin said.

Overall, Martin recommends parents exercise "a lot of caution when putting a small kid on a scooter, and if possible, just not putting them on it at all."

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