Injury Research and Policy Skateboarding Research :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Skateboarding Safety

Skateboarding can be a fun way for children and adolescents to get exercise. However, an estimated 111,000 kids younger than 18 are treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments for skateboard-related injuries each year. Many of these injuries can be prevented.

Skateboarding Injury Facts

  • Of those children treated in U.S. emergency departments because of their skateboard-related injuries:
    • The three most commonly injured body regions are the wrist, ankle and face.
    • Broken bones, sprains, scrapes and bruises are the most common injuries.

Who is Most at Risk?

  • Boys are more commonly injured than girls.
  • Skateboarders who are hit by a motor vehicle have the most serious injuries.
  • Skateboarders who ride on uneven surfaces have the most fall-related injuries.

Skateboarding Safety Tips

  • All skateboarders should wear a helmet and other protective gear (such as wrist guards, elbow pads and knee pads).
  • Teach children to never ride a skateboard in or near traffic.
  • Check the skating area for holes, bumps and rocks. Smooth surfaces are the safest for skateboarding.
  • Skateboarding at dusk or after dark can be dangerous. It is safest to skateboard during the day.
  • Encourage children to ride their skateboard in skateboarding parks.
  • Children younger than 5 years should not use skateboards, and children 5-10 years should not use skateboards without adult supervision.
  • In some places, like Columbus, Ohio, skateboarders younger than 18 are required by law to wear helmets. Make sure your child wears a helmet to stay legal and safe.
  • Children riding on ripsticks should follow the same safety tips as children on skateboards.
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