Safety Tips: Skateboarding

Safety Tips: Skateboarding

Skateboarding's popularity has soared in the last few decades, and offshoots like longboarding and mountain-boarding are becoming more common.

But skateboarding also can be an easy way for kids to get hurt, particularly if they skate in the wrong place or don't wear protective gear. Scrapes and bruises are almost a fact of skateboarding life, and broken bones and sprains are also common.

To keep it safe while skateboarding, kids should follow these rules and safety tips.

Why Safety Is Important

It's easy for riders to lose their balance when riding a skateboard. And every fall brings the chance of injury. Some of those injuries are severe, and skateboarders have been killed by head injuries and collisions with cars.

Kids and beginners are the most likely to get hurt. More than half of skateboard injuries happen to people under the age of 15. A third happen to those who have been skateboarding less than a week.

Experienced skaters get hurt, too. As the difficulty of tricks increases, so does the risk of injury, and things like rocks and poor riding surfaces are always a threat.

Gear Guidelines

It may seem like all that's needed to start skateboarding is a board and an attitude — until the first wipeout. Asphalt, concrete, wood, and other common riding surfaces have one thing in common: none are soft. Helmets are a must for all skateboarders, and all beginners should use pads until they gain more experience.

Here are some of the things a rider will need to get started:

Where to Ride

Where to ride may be the single most important decision skateboarders make, as far as safety is concerned. Rough riding surfaces are responsible for more than half of skateboarding injuries.

Initial skating will probably be in the driveway or a skate park. Wherever your child rides, make sure the area is free of rocks, sticks, and other objects. Teach your child to look out for potentially dangerous cracks in the surface before riding, and make sure there is no chance of an encounter with a car.

The greatest threat to skateboarders is cars. Falls hurt, but they are rarely fatal. Collisions with large objects, however, can kill. Kids should never ride in the street.

Before Starting

The better shape kids are in, the better they'll be at all athletic activities, not just skateboarding. Encourage your kids to eat right and exercise regularly. They also should warm up and stretch before skating, especially their backs, legs and ankles.

Any place kids skate should be dry and cleared of anything that might interfere with the board's wheels.

Before they start skating, teach kids to be sure it's their turn and that no one is in the way. Collisions can happen if skaters don't communicate. And they should never ride with someone else on their skateboard. One rider per board, period.

While Riding

Kids will fall while skateboarding. That much is a given. To minimize injury, they should follow these tips:

Other Rules to Discuss

Young skateboarders should:

Skateboarding is great way for kids to have fun and feel a sense of accomplishment. There's nothing like mastering a new trick to feel a surge of self-confidence and pride. With lots of practice and common safety sense, someday they might be the ones doing the kick-flips and spins and owning the skate park!

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: March 2014





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2015 KidsHealth® All rights reserved.
Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com





Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
OrganizationAmerican College of Sports Medicine This site has tips on staying safe while playing sports and exercising.
OrganizationNational Athletic Trainers' Association This site contains information on certified athletic trainers and tips on preventing and healing sports injuries.
OrganizationAmerican Sports Medicine Institute The mission of ASMI is to improve the understanding, prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries through research and education.
Related Articles
Safety Tips: Inline Skating Inline skating is good exercise and an excellent off-season training program for hockey and skiing. To stay safe while inline skating, take a look at these tips.
Concussions: What to Do In a concussion, the brain shifts inside the skull. This can cause a sudden - but usually temporary - disruption in a person's ability to function properly and feel well. Here's what to do if you suspect a concussion.
Concussions Ow! You fell and hit your head. But do you have a concussion? Find out about concussions in this article for kids.
Concussions The term concussion conjures up the image of a child knocked unconscious while playing sports. But concussions can happen with any head injury, often without any loss of consciousness.
Five Ways to Avoid Sports Injuries Sports injuries often can be prevented. Find out how in this article for kids.
Dealing With Sports Injuries You practiced hard and made sure you wore protective gear, but you still got hurt. Read this article to find out how to take care of sports injuries - and how to avoid getting them.
Sports Medicine Center Get tips on everything from finding the best sport for your kids to preventing and handling injuries.
Stay Safe: Baseball Attention, baseball players: Getting hurt stinks, so check out these 10 tips for staying safe when you're on the diamond.
Safety Tips: Skateboarding Skateboarding is undeniably cool, but it's also easy to get hurt. Keep it safe while skateboarding with these safety tips.
Safety Tips: Skiing Skiing is fun but also has some very real dangers. Make sure your kids follow these safety tips to learn how to stay safe on the slopes.
Safety Tips: Skiing There's a lot to love about skiing, but it can also present some very real dangers, from frostbite and sunburn to blown knees and head injuries. Follow these tips to stay safe on the slopes.
Safety Tips: Snowboarding Snowboarding is a great way for kids to have fun and get exercise, but it has some very real dangers. These safety tips can help keep your kids safe on the slopes.
Safety Tips: Snowboarding Snowboarding is a great way to have fun, but it can also present some very real dangers. Follow these safety tips to learn how to stay safe on the slopes.
Sports and Exercise Safety Playing hard doesn't have to mean getting hurt. The best way to ensure a long and injury-free athletic career is to play it safe from the start. Find out how.
Safety Tips: Baseball Baseball is by no means a dangerous sport. But it can present a very real risk of injuries from things like wild pitches, batted balls, and collisions in the field. These safety tips can help keep your kids safe on the diamond.
Sports Center This site has tips on things like preparing for a new season, handling sports pressure, staying motivated, and dealing with injuries.
Preventing Children's Sports Injuries Participation in sports can teach kids sportsmanship and discipline. But sports also carry the potential for injury. Here's how to protect your kids.
Safety Tips: Baseball Baseball is by no means a dangerous sport. But it can present a very real risk of injuries from things like wild pitches, batted balls, and collisions in the field.
iGrow iGrow
Sign up for our parent enewsletter