Skateboarding Safety in the City

Skateboarding is one of the world's most popular pastimes, particularly for kids and teenagers. But when skating in the city, the risk of injury is increased and can cause alarm for many parents. Overall, skateboarding is a safe activity, but it's important that both rider and parent take proper precautions to ensure an injury-free ride. According to a report on unintentional injuries by the National Safety Council, more than half of the 125,145 skateboarding injuries in 2015 happened to people between the ages of 14 and 24, and approximately one-third were between the ages of 5 and 14.

The number of injuries as a result of skateboarding can be intimidating, but having the right gear and following some simple safety rules can help you stay safe whenever you ride. Common injuries include problems with the wrists, swollen elbows, and various sprains and fractures. Fortunately, the National Safety Council has provided guidelines to help keep skateboarders safe when they venture out.

First, skaters should always use the correct skateboard for their type of riding, whether it's freestyle, slalom, or speed riding. All riders should wear close-toed, slip-resistant shoes as well as a helmet and knee pads. Clothing like padded jackets and shorts, wrist braces, and gloves designed for skateboarders are also helpful to prevent or lessen injury. Each time you ride, be sure to perform a safety check of your board to make sure everything is in working order and there's no damage.

When you're skateboarding in the city, be sure to obey all local laws and never ride in the street. Be aware of where you're allowed to skate, and avoid the places where it's illegal. Never skate through crowds of people or group tours, as this can be extremely dangerous both to yourself and to others. Only one person should ride per skateboard, and you should never try to "hitch a ride" with a passing car or bicycle. If you enjoy working on your skating tricks, be sure to perform them in designated areas only. Look for local skate parks with specially constructed ramps and jumps, since these areas are most likely to be monitored by others and there's no risk of injury from cars or foot traffic.

Falling off a skateboard is an art, and if you do it right, it usually won't result in serious injuries. Crouch down whenever you think you may lose control. This method can lessen injuries, since you won't have as far to fall. Land on the fleshier parts of your body whenever possible, relax your body instead of going stiff, and attempt to roll instead of absorbing all of the force with your arms, wrists, or elbows. This method will help to reduce the possibility or at least the severity of an injury. You can even practice falling on grass or other soft surfaces so you're better prepared.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under the age of five should not skateboard, and kids under age 10 should only skateboard under adult supervision. But with a little bit of practice, good gear, and common sense, most kids can enjoy skateboarding with little worry.

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  • Seven Facts About the History of Skateboarding: Read all about some interesting facts about the history of skateboarding and watch an informative video.

  • Skateboard Accidents: Read this article to learn more about common accidents caused by skateboarding.

  • Ten Fun Facts About Skateboarding: On this page, you'll discover a list of ten interesting facts all about skateboarding.

  • Safety Tips for Children: A pediatric orthopedic surgeon offers five simple safety skateboarding tips for children.

  • Safety and Prevention: Click on this link to learn about safety, gear, and preventing injuries while skateboarding, inline skating, and bicycling.

  • A Surprisingly Safe Sport: This page offers a brief article and statistics that show that skateboarding is relatively safe overall.

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  • Injuries and Safety Tips: You'll find a few facts about injuries and some helpful safety tips here, presented by UPMC Sports Medicine.

  • Skateboarding Safety for Kids: This short but informative article has a focus on proper helmet safety while skateboarding.

  • How to Skateboard 101: Whether you're brand new to skateboarding or experienced, this helpful page provides plenty of useful "tips for dummies."

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  • Skateboarding Information for Parents: With a focus on parental concerns, this page offers information about the risks of skateboarding and what parents and kids can do to prevent them.

  • Safety Tips for Teens: On this page, you'll find lots of helpful tips to ensure that you stay safe whenever you skate.

  • The Science and Art of Skateboard Design: This site has some cool information about how skateboards are designed and the interesting science behind them.

  • Who Are Skateboarders? Read here to discover who enjoys skateboarding, including some interesting facts and demographics.

  • Safety First: This website discusses injuries from skateboarding as well as the importance of helmets and other safety gear.