Skateboard Safety

If you are using a scooter or skateboard on a footpath you must take care not to harm or endanger other pedestrians. You are also advised to wear protective gear, including a helmet, knee and even elbow pads, especially in steep conditions. Robust shoes should always be worn.

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Facts: Skateboarding and non-powered scooters are sports that have become very popular in the past decade. Unfortunately, the numbers of injuries related to these sports are increasing as well. Nationwide, over 1000 kids go to the emergency department on a weekly basis for skateboarding and scooter related injuries.


Skateboard Safety Tips:

Use Protective Gear.

1. Helmets. Proper and consistent use of a helmet while riding a skateboard or scooter can reduce the risk of the most serious injuries.
For helmets to provide maximum protection, they must fit properly. When shopping for a helmet, remember the Eyes, Ears, Mouth formula for a proper fit:

Eyes: The rim of the helmet should be one to two finger-widths above the eyebrows.
Ears: The straps should form a “V” just beneath the ear lobe.
Mouth: The buckle should be flush against the skin under the chin; when the rider opens his mouth, he should feel the strap snug on the chin and the helmet hugging the head.

2. Padding. Padding is available for the parts of the body that are the most fragile and most commonly injured areas: wrists, knees, and elbows. This padding helps to reduce and prevent the severity of injuries from a fall.

3. Basic Coverage. In addition to padding, basic coverage is a good idea. Closed-toe shoes with good grip provide a safe base for the rider. Long sleeves and pants can help protect and against cuts and scrapes.

Practice Common Sense.

Talk about these points with your child or teen:

1. Remember that there is a risk involved in riding a scooter or skateboard. Take steps to protect yourself by always wearing a helmet and appropriate protective gear;
2. Avoid risky situations, such as riding at dusk or at night, riding in or near traffic, or “skitching a ride,” which is holding on to the side or rear of a moving vehicle while riding a skateboard;
3. Be patient. Fancy tricks on skateboards take time to perfect. Don’t let peer pressure push you to do stunts that you are not ready to do;
4. Ride in a safe environment. Children under age 15 should never ride in the street, at night, or near traffic. Riding surfaces should be smooth and clear of debris or water.

Equipment Check.

Boards and other equipment should also be checked before riding to make sure they are in proper working order. Look for cracks, loose parts, and properly attached gripping on boards.

  • Children under 10 need to cycle with a grown-up, and preferably on bike paths.
  • Teach children to walk bikes across pedestrian crossings instead of riding across the street.
  • Children need to show that they can follow road rules, and predict what cars will do, before being allowed to cycle alone. This takes a long time and a lot of practice.
  • Teach children that riding in wet weather requires different skills and extra caution.
  • Teach children to wear enclosed footwear when riding, rather than thongs or bare feet. Bare feet can be hurt if they catch in the spokes or chain or if they’re used as a brake.
  • Discourage stunt riding. ‘Look no hands’ and ‘dinking’ are asking for trouble.

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