Skateboarding injuries send nearly 200 kids to emergency departments per day: study


Photo: Henrique NDR Martins/iStockphoto

Columbus, OH – Every day, nearly 200 young people in the United States go to the emergency department for treatment of skateboarding injuries, according to a study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Researchers examined data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System on 5- to 19-year-olds who visited emergency departments for skateboarding injuries from 1990 to 2008. Each year, 64,572 youths were treated on average – or about 176 per day.

Other findings included:

  • Most patients were boys (89 percent).
  • Most patients were injured at home (38 percent) or on a street (30 percent).
  • The body parts most often injured were upper extremities (45 percent) and lower extremities (32 percent).
  • The most common injuries were fractures or dislocations (33 percent), sprains and strains (25 percent), and bruises (20 percent).
  • The age group most often hospitalized was children ages 11 to 14.
  • Older children had more injuries to lower extremities, while younger children had more injuries to the head or neck.

The hospital offers the following advice to help avoid skateboarding injuries:

  • Wear protective gear, including a helmet, wrist guards, and elbow and knee pads.
  • Avoid riding near traffic. Be aware of uneven pavement, cracks and holes. Ride at skateboard parks.
  • Skate during good weather.
  • Don’t ride until you’re at least 6 years old. Children ages 6 to 10 should have adult supervision.

“Skateboarding can be a fun recreational and competitive activity,” Lara McKenzie, the study’s lead author and principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the hospital, said in a press release. “However, wheeled sports that require balance and take place on hard surfaces are more likely to result in higher rates of injury. Keep your kids safer by making sure they wear protective gear like helmets, wrist guards, elbow and knee pads.”

The study was published online April 8 in the journal Injury Epidemiology.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)