A helmet is vital in skateboard riding and roller-blades. (Be sure to read our page on bicycle helmet safety.) We could not find a reliable statistic on the amount of deaths every year, but skateboarding deaths have been reported, both from falls and from collisions with motor vehicles. Around 15,000 people are treated for skateboard injuries each year in emergency rooms around the country.
Skating safety rules for kids
- Many injuries are caused by rocks and other irregularities in the riding surface. To avoid this, have your children ride only in a designated skateboard park, where such objects are much less frequent.
- Believe it or not, skateboards have different ratings for freestyle, slalom, or speed. Be sure to pick out one appropriate for your child’s level.
- Get your child full protective equipment, and ensure they wear it.
- Teach children how to fall when on a skateboard or roller-blades. When losing balance, it is one’s natural instinct to try and stand up straight to gain it. Instead, teach children to crouch down when they lose balance. The closer they are to the ground, the better their fall will be. Crouching can also help a person regain balance better. Try to get in the habit of falling with your forearm, not with your wrist or hand down. Fall on the fleshy parts of your body whenever possible. Teach your children to “get their butt down” in a fall.
- Teach your child to check their equipment before each use, as all professionals do, for rocks or other things that might have gotten caught in the wheel.
- Have your child practice falling on a soft surface, such as a lawn, to get them comfortable with how to fall.
Skateboard Safety for Parents
- When your child is practicing at home, keep all toddlers a safe distance away. Skateboards have a tendency to be launched during falls, and a skateboard to the face could land another child in the ER.
- Never pull a skateboard behind a car, or allow this to be done.
- Skateboards and steep hills are two things that don’t go well together. A skateboard isn’t a bike, and it shouldn’t be used as such. It has tiny wheels and no brakes. Have your child keep their hobby to skate parks and reasonably level streets, and walk their board along any long steep inclines.