Safe on Wheels: Basics of Skateboard, Skate and Scooter Safety
Warmer weather brings kids outside on all types of equipment but scooters, in-line skates and skateboards are especially popular. While looking cool is part of the fun, being safe is much more important. Every year, 50,000 people are treated in the ER for injuries related to skateboarding and more than 30,000 are treated for in-line skating injuries. Head injury and injuries sustained during collisions with cars are the most common.
Here is how you can help your child stay safe while riding his hip wheels:
- Protect the head. Your child should wear a helmet at all times when using his skateboard, skates or scooter. The helmet should meet all safety standards and be designed to prevent or minimize skateboard and skating injuries.
- Pad up. Your child should wear elbow, knee and wrist pads to help protect him from broken bones, sprains and fractures.
- Use the park. If possible, have your child wheel around in a skateboard park, which is more likely to be designed for safety rather than homemade jumps and ramps that are probably less stable and more dangerous. If a skate park is not available, have your child wheel around on a designated paved path to keep him out of the street.
- Ride at a safe speed. Inexperienced riders should ride to their skill level, and not go so fast that they can’t slow down.
- Stay off the roads. Your child should never ride in or around car traffic.
- Don't hitch rides. Your child should never hitch rides by hanging onto or attaching his skateboard to a vehicle or a bicycle.
- Buddy up. Your child should always skate with a buddy or a grownup. Supervise children younger than 8 at all times.
Reviewed by: Patrick S. Pasquariello Jr., MD
Date: June 2013