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Skateboard Injuries

Skateboard injuries are on the rise. For those who live around the city, we've all seen skateboarders zip around us, seemingly coming out of nowhere, and vanishing just the same. Some ride their skateboards with the utmost of caution, others with reckless abandon. No matter which style the youngster adheres to, injuries are always a likely possibility.

 

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An estimated 50,000 skateboard injuries are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year. These figures do not include motorized skateboards or inline skates, which present their own types of issues and statistics.

Skateboard injuries come in several common types, including head and neck injuries, arms and legs, hands and feet, and other blunt force trauma caused by vehicle collisions. Children under 5 years of age experience a disproportionate amount of head injuries mostly because they tend to have high centers of gravity and have limited abilities to break falls using their extremities. This is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children 5 or under should not use skateboards at all. They additionally recommend that children 6 - 10 only use skateboards under close adult supervision.

The National Safety Council recommends the use of protective gear, such as closed, slip-resistant shoes, helmets, and specially designed padding for elbows, knees and hands. This protective gear may not fully prevent injury but will lessen the severity of the skateboard injuries.

The National Safety Council offers the following skateboarding tips:

1. Give your board a safety check each time before you ride.
2. Always wear safety gear.
3. Never ride in the street.
4. Obey the city laws. Observe traffic and areas where you can and cannot skate.
5. Don't skate in crowds of non-skaters.
6. Only one person per skateboard.
7. Never hitch a ride from a car, bicycle, etc.
8. Don't take chances; complicated tricks require careful practice and a specially-designated area.
9. Learn to fall-practice falling on a soft surface or grass.

The Council recommends that children who ride skateboards learn how to fall. Teach your child that when they are starting to fall, crouch down on the skateboard so that they don't have as far to fall. Also, instruct them that when they fall, to try to roll and absorb the force of the fall by using their arms as shock absorbers. Since wrist injuries are the most common skateboard injuries, make sure your child is wearing protective wrist gear, especially when first learning. One-third of all skateboard injuries occur within the first week, so make sure your child is well-equipped and supervised especially during this time. Irregular and uneven surfaces account for one-half of all falls, so make sure your child is skateboarding on even surfaces only.

Not all skateboard injuries may be preventable, but most can be minimized by wearing protective gear and instilling in the child safe riding habits.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

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