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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Additional Skateboarding Resources
Epidemiology of skateboarding-related injuries sustained by children and adolescents 5-19 years of age and treated in US emergency departments: 1990 through 2008
- PubMed Abstract - April 2016
- Press Release - April 2016