Kids of all ages love skateboards. They are a fun way to get around and a cool way to hang out. However, they can also result in injuries, such as sprains and fractures (usually of the wrist), scrapes, and contusions. And when used on the street, there is also the danger of colliding with cars or bikes.
Before your kids step onto their skateboards this spring, review these essential safety tips with them.
Note: Children under age five should not ride skateboards. At this age, their judgment is poor, their muscles are not well developed, and their centers of gravity are higher.
Getting ready to ride
- When choosing a board, be sure it is the correct type and size
- Check the board over carefully for hazards, such as loose, broken, or cracked parts; sharp edges; a slippery top surface; or nicks and cracks in the wheels
- Closed, slip-resistant shoes
- A helmet; be sure it doesn't block hearing or vision
- Padded jacket or shorts, or padding for hips, knees, and elbows
- Skateboarding gloves
- Never ride in the street; use parking lots or specially designated skateboarding areas that are away from pedestrians and traffic
- Do not have more than one person on a skateboard
- Never hitch a ride from a car, bus, truck, bicycle, or other vehicle
- Don't do complicated tricks
Learn how to fall correctly:
- If you are losing your balance, crouch down on the skateboard so that you will not have far to fall
- When you're falling, try to turn so that you'll land on the fleshy parts of your body
- When you're falling, try to curl your body up and roll rather than extending your arms out and absorbing the force with your arms
- Try to relax your body as you fall; don't stiffen up
- Practice falling on soft surfaces
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Last reviewed May 2002 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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