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Skateboard and Scooter Injuries

Guidelines To Prevent Injuries In Your Children

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More children are playing outside these days, especially riding skateboards and scooters. While it is good that kids are more active, since more physical activity can lead to less overweight children, the increased use of skateboards and scooters has also resulted in an increased number of injuries.

In recent years, skateboards and scooters have resulted in over 135,000 injuries (about 50,000 in skateboarders and 85,000 from using a scooter), mostly fractures of bones, in children each year in the United States, including 1500 children that require hospitalization. Fortunately, only 5% of these injuries were considered severe and they rarely resulted in death, although there were at least 11 deaths in children between the ages 8 and 18 years in 2001 related to using a non-powered scooter.

Following some simple guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission should help your child to continue to enjoy this fun form of physical activity and reduce his chances of getting hurt.

Among the recommendations are that children under age 5 should not use skateboards. Children between the ages of 6-10 should have close supervision when riding a skateboard, as should children under age 8 years who are riding a scooter.

Other recommendations include that children who are riding a skateboard or scooter should:

  • wear a helmet, knee and elbow pads. Wrist guards should also be used when skateboarding, but may make it difficult to grip the handles of a scooter.
  • never ride in or around traffic. Since most deaths from skateboarding seemed to involve the child getting hit by a car, this is probably the best lesson you can teach your child.
  • never ride at night
  • avoid riding on uneven pavement or gravel. Smooth surfaces are less likely to result in a fall, especially for beginners.
  • warn your children about skitching, where children hold onto the back or side of a car or truck while skateboarding

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