While some do it professionally, most children and teenagers skateboard as a part time activity. It has even diversified into longboarding and mountain boarding. All of which come with a considerable risk to injury. Statistics have it that 70,000 of the annual injuries require medical attention. While going for the best helmets for skateboarding does not curb accidents totally, it is a good start. Nonetheless, some other measures put in place in combination with cool skateboard helmets enhance safety.
Common Injuries Suffered
Well over half of the injuries reported affect children under 15 years. Most of whom are usually boys, that lose control. Often, they land arms open, explaining the frequency of wrist, ankle, and face injuries. Legs, trunk, and the neck mainly suffer from cuts, strains, sprains, or bruises. Wrist fractures are also quite common, yet they are avoidable by wearing wrist guards. Broken noses and jawbones are common face injuries. At times they can be as severe as concussions, in cases where a heavy fall headfirst (without a helmet) happens.
Recommendations as per Age
The American Academy of Pediatrics insists on parent supervision for children aged 6-10. They further strongly advise against letting children under the age of 5 skateboard. Reason being, smaller children have a higher center of gravity, making them prone to falls. They also are sluggish in reacting and coordinate on lower levels compared to adults.
Wearing Protective gear is not Optional
Before putting your gear in place there is an aspect many forget. You should rid your pockets off of any hard or sharp objects. Get rid of those keys, your cellphone, essentially leaving nothing on you. Once through, put on that properly fitting helmet, followed by a mouth guard if you have one. Wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads are quite important in reducing grazing intensity. Lastly, closed shoes chosen ought to have a firm grip, and some sunglasses complete the look as they keep debris out of your eyes. As a side note, those who apply advanced skateboarding tricks need heavy duty gear.
Choosing a Suitable Helmet
In case you have not realized, injuries to the head are most fatal. Consequently, helmet quality is not to be compromised at any cost. Regardless of age and experience, a helmet should meet CPSC certification standards. When worn, it should sit just above the eyebrows and sit flat on the head. The buckle should not go loose at any given time while the side straps form a V-shape around the ears. A helmet that impedes vision and hearing is no good. To test all of the above, shake your helmet once strapped to see if it moves. Lastly, every 5 years get a new helmet. Of course, if it cracks before then or you overgrow it, a replacement is needed.
Find a Controlled Skateboarding Area
Plenty of neighborhoods have safe skate-parks. Here your kid will skateboard under supervision and there is no unforeseen danger such as motorists. However, there are places out there that are relatively safe, just ensure they meet the following criteria. They surface should not be irregular, should be free of distractions (home-made ramps are no exception), and should be free of pedestrians. It is common knowledge that skateboarding in wet weather and darkness is dangerous. Also, ‘skitching’, the slang term for holding onto the rear of moving vehicles is extremely dangerous.
It is quite important to familiarize yourself with your skateboard as well as various techniques employed by various people. Tweak both to the highest levels of comfortability attainable. Work on senses as well, and have the welfare of other skateboarders in mind. Such simple measures go a long way in enhancing safety.