Pat Hines (Traffic Safety Educator & Executive Director, SafeMoves) gives expert video advice on: How do most skateboarding injuries occur?; Is there a correct way to fall from a skateboard or scooter? and more...
How common are skateboarding injuries?
Skateboarding is really popular, especially among young boys between the ages of 11 and 14. Skateboarding is happening all around this country. The media has made it really popular, and boys emulate what they see as a really cool sport. And skateboarding is a great sport. But skateboarding is also a form of recreation. Skateboarding is also a form of transportation. And national data is showing that there's been an increase in skateboard injuries only because the popularity of skateboarding has increased. Here in Los Angeles county we're seeing an increase in skateboarding injuries. We're also finding out that boys aren't wearing helmets when they're skateboarding. So we're seeing an increase in helmet injuries from skateboarding. Also abrasions are very common skateboarding injuries from crashes. So it's really important that as a parent if you're going to buy a skateboard, your child has to be just as prepared to ride a skateboard as they are when they ride a bicycle.
How do most skateboarding injuries occur?
The most common skateboard injury is a skateboarder who loses control, isn't able to stop, and falls off and breaks an arm. More likely, a child is going to be riding a skateboard and fall backwards and injure their head. That's why the multi-purpose helmets are really important because it covers the lower portion of your head. Skateboards don't have a real brake to them; you really rely on the foot to slow you down. And sometimes, when a child is skateboarding and goes into the street, they're hit by a car. So it's lack of control of the skateboard that's causing a lot of crashes and injuries, whether they're falling and hitting the cement or they're injured when the child goes into traffic.
What are the basic rules of skateboard safety?
Is there a correct way to fall from a skateboard or scooter?
The safest way to fall is to never fall obviously and the joke I always say always fall softly. Well that's impossible; children aren't stuntmen: they aren't trained to fall properly. There are things that you can remember: if you to fall off your skateboard, don't put your hands out because you are going to break your wrist- try to roll with it. This is something you can practice in the grass. Stand on your skateboard and practice falling off your skateboard by rolling. You almost want to do a somersault. You want to fall off your bike so you roll. You don't want to hit the ground suddenly, because that's when bones break. But again children aren't stuntmen. The best way is to make sure your child has the skills they need so they are not going to fall off. If a child is hit by a car, there is not a lot you can do to protect that child. They are not going to know how to roll off a car. That is not going to happen. Give them the basics like practicing in the grass. Get used to falling; Don't be afraid of falling; Try to avoid putting your arms out to break your fall. Break is the key operative word: You will break your arm; Try to roll with the fall and not stop it suddenly.