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Skateboarding Accidents Land Kids in the ER Every Day

Whether you live in an urban environment or the suburbs, it’s likely that your local community has built a skate park nearby. Concerns about childhood obesity, sedentary lifestyles, and an increasing disconnect from the real world via social media are only a few reasons why urban planners have taken action in the fight to bring kids out of their bedrooms and outside.

Skateboarding is always a popular sport among young boys and girls, and many parents appreciate having a skate park nearby. It’s a safe local space for kids to have fun and make new friends, and in many parents’ minds, it serves as a deterrent to teen drinking and drug use. Skateboarding is certainly a fun hobby for kids and teens, but if they’re not careful, this seemingly harmless activity can turn deadly.

Statistics about youth skateboarding accidents

A recent study spanning over two decades reveals some disturbing information. The prevalence of accidents resulting from skateboarding has increased since 1994, and many injuries are severe. Roughly 176 accidents occur in America daily, sending kids and teens to emergency rooms all across the country. Older children routinely fracture and dislocate bones, and 45 percent of all injuries are in upper extremities including the head and neck. One recent tragic event occurred in 2015, when a teenage boy died while doing an especially dangerous skateboard stunt without a helmet.

Boys are at higher risk for injuries than girls. Perhaps boys are simply more impulsive during their adolescent years, and social pressures to show off in front of friends can be strong. In any case, 89 percent of injured patients who see emergency medical personnel are male. It is unlikely that every teenage boy wears proper protective gear when skateboarding, even if they claim they do. Skateboarding accidents, at least for now, seem to be a predominantly male problem, and moms of boys should take note.

Talk to your kids

Parents will likely be alarmed by the high rates of injuries associated with their child’s favorite hobby. The most fanatical parents might wish to ban skateboarding in public places or take away their child’s board as a precaution. This type of overzealous fear-mongering is unnecessary. In fact, the vast majority of skateboard accidents are preventable. They often occur due to unsafe practices, such as skateboarding in bad weather or when the ground is damp with recent rain. Kids who opt out of wearing protective gear like helmets, knee pads, and shin pads are at significantly higher risk.

Even if it’s just a trip down the street to the local skate park, kids benefit from time spent engaging in physical activity. Skateboarding can be a fun and exciting sport for kids and the concerns about injury should not dissuade parents from encouraging their boys and girls to get outside. Doing penny board tricks on the road outside is certainly more physically stimulating than playing on their phones, and it comes with the added benefit of helping kids bond with their neighborhood peers.

However, moms and dads shouldn’t shy away from having hard conversations with their kids. Even if the children initially roll their eyes and dismiss their parents’ well-meaning advice, the gruesome knowledge of what can happen when a skateboard accident occurs is usually enough to wisen them up. Teach children about the dangers associated with skateboarding by providing them with valuable resources about prevention and precautions.

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