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

Skateboarding Safety


Skateboarding can be a fun recreational and competitive activity. However, an estimated 64,500 kids age 5-19 are treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments for skateboard-related injuries each year. Keep kids on the board by following a few safety tips.

Safety First:

  • Make it a rule that kids can’t step foot on the skateboard unless they are wearing a helmet, wrist guards, elbow, and knee pads.
  • 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.
  • If kids pick out protective gear they like they will be more likely to wear it.

Plan Your Route:

  • Be aware of uneven riding surfaces like cracks, potholes, and bumps. Smooth surfaces are the safest for skateboarding.
  • Many injuries happen on the street so avoid riding in or near traffic.
  • Skateboard parks are a great place to ride without having to worry about cars.

Check Outside:

  • Skateboarding at dusk or after dark can be dangerous. It is safest to skateboard during the day.
  • If it is dark or the weather is bad find another activity until the weather clears up and it is light outside.

Age Appropriate:

  • Most children are not coordinated enough to skateboard until they are at least 6 years old.
  • If your children are between 6-10 years old, make sure they have an adult with them every time they ride.

More Than Just Skateboards:

  • Follow these tips for skateboards, longboards, wave boards, Ripstiks, and other skateboard-like devices.


Skateboarding Resources:

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000