Article by John Miller
Skateboarding and similar sports such as scooters, rip sticks all involve an inherent risk of falls. This leads to lower limb, upper limb and spinal or hip injuries.
The chance of a fractured wrist, hip
etc increases with height, speed and adventurous challenges that
skateboarders enjoy. Luckily, there is a higher change of soft tissue
injuries such as bruises and sprains that respond favourably to
physiotherapy or massage interventions.
However, if you suspect a fracture (broken bone) or head concussion, it is best to head to hospital for at least a precautionary Xray.
Skateboarding Injury Statistics
Skateboarding injuries have increased in correlation with the rise in popularity of the sport, and the injury pattern can expect to increase with the development of riskier skateboard tricks.
Skateboarding injuries often involve the wrist, ankle or face. Many injuries happen when you lose your balance, fall off the skateboard and land on an outstretched arm.
In a 2001 study, the most common fractures were of the ankle and wrist. Older patients had less severe injuries, mainly sprains and soft tissue injuries.
Most children were injured while skateboarding on ramps and at arenas; only 12 (9%) were injured while skateboarding on roads. Some 37% of the injuries occurred because of a loss of balance, and 26% because of a failed trick attempt. Falls caused by surface irregularities resulted in the highest proportion of the moderate injuries.
Overall, skateboarding is a fun and healthy sport that can give you a low-impact aerobic workout, plus an adrenaline rush!
General Skateboarding Injury Prevention Guidelines
- Practice skateboarding safely and use protective equipment.
- Learn the basic skills of skateboarding, especially how to stop properly.
- Use professionally designed "bowls" and "ramps" or other designated skateboarding areas that are located away from motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
- Don't perform tricks beyond your ability.
- Use a quality skateboard
- Keep your skateboard in proper working order
- Do not use headphones while skateboarding.
- Never put more than one person on a skateboard.
- Wear proper protective equipment
Skateboarding Protective Equipment
- Wrist guards
- Knee and elbow pads
Young Children Skateboarding
Skateboarding is not recommended for young children because they are still growing and do not yet have the physical skills and thinking ability a person needs to control a skateboard and ride it safely. 60% of skateboard injuries involve Children under age 15. Most of those injured are boys.
- Inexperienced skateboarders. Those who have been skating for less than one week suffer one-third of injuries, usually caused by falls.
- Skateboarders who do not wear protective equipment. Every skateboarder should wear standard safety gear. This includes a helmet, wrist guards, elbow and knee pads and appropriate shoes. Skateboarders who perform tricks should use heavy duty gear.
- Skateboarders who go near traffic or use homemade skateboard ramps. Both activities are particularly dangerous.
- Experienced skateboarders who encounter unexpected surfaces or try risky stunts.
- Irregular riding surfaces, rocks or other debris can cause you to fall. You can stumble over twigs or fall down slopes.
- Wet pavements and rough or uneven surfaces can cause a wipeout.
- Avoid risky behaviour. Don't skateboard too fast or in dangerous or crowded locations.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
- Children under age 5 years old should never ride a skateboard.
- Children aged 6 to 10 years old need close supervision from an adult or trustworthy adolescent whenever they ride a skateboard.
When young children are involved in skateboarding accidents, they are often injured severely. Skateboarding is a special risk for young children because they have:
- A higher centre of gravity, less development and poor balance. These factors make children more likely to fall and hurt their heads.
- Slower reactions and less coordination than adults. Children are less able to break their falls.
- Less skill and ability than they think. Children overestimate their skills and abilities and are inexperienced in judging speed, traffic and other risks.
Common Skateboarding Injuries
Common Treatments for Skateboarding Injuries
FAQs Skateboarding Injuries
Injury Prevention & Pain Relief Products
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Last updated 29-Oct-2014 03:36 PM
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