Many children love to skateboard and are good at it! However, no matter how good your child is and what skill level they are, there is always potential for injury. Over 82,000 individuals are treated in hospital emergency rooms for skateboard-related injuries each year. It is extremely important to educate yourself and your children on wearing the proper safety equipment so every skateboarding experience can be a fun and injury-free!
- Helmets are a must!! Every skater should be wearing a helmet. Be sure the helmet is designed for skateboarding, not another sport. Look for a skateboard helmet which is certified and has met the ASTM F1492 federal standard for safety. This will be designated with a sticker inside of the helmet and should read “ASTM F1492 Skateboard Helmet”. The helmet should be equipped with a strong strap and be securely fastened at all times. Skateboarding injuries can range from mild to life-threatening. Many skateboarders have been killed due to head injuries.
- Wrist guards, knee pads and elbow pads are recommended for all skateboarders, especially for beginners. The pads should be made of a hard plastic or nylon type material with padding inside. The pads should not restrict movement of the elbows or knees and the straps should not be so tight it restricts blood circulation. The pads should be snug enough to stay in place in the event of a fall.
- Skateboarding is very hard on shoes, ankles and feet. Use shoes made of leather or suede. A vinyl or plastic shoe can be easily torn in a fall allowing injury to the skateboarder’s feet. Make sure the sole of the shoes are in good shape and are softer rubber to provide less chance for slips and falls.
- Use a board designed for what you are doing. Do not use a homemade board of poor construction or design. It is best to purchase a well-designed board meant for skateboarding. Frequently check the board for defects. Look for cracks and sharp edges in the board. Check for free rolling wheels and excessive movement in wheel mountings.
- Serious skateboarding injuries can occur when you lose control and run into motor vehicles, pedestrians, other skateboarders, bicyclists or other objects. You can lessen the possibility of injury if you use protective gear, keep your skateboard in good shape, skate in designated areas and do not attempt tricks or stunts above your current skill level.
- Deputy Jodi Wolfe