Skateboarding Safety for Kids
Monday, July 6, 2015
Joanna Cohen, MD, attending in the Emergency Department at Children's National Health System, advises parents on how to keep your child safe while riding a skateboard.
Skateboarding has become an increasingly popular sport that many youth enjoy. With any sport there are serious injury risks that could happen. The No.1 rule of skateboarding is always wear your protective gear. A helmet, elbow and knee pads, wrist guards, and sturdy shoes help reduce injuries. Helmets especially help prevent concussions and damage to the face and head. Athletic gloves are also recommended to keep hands safe, if your child falls.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics children under age 5 years old should never ride a skateboard. Children aged 6 to 10 years old need close supervision from an adult or trustworthy adolescent whenever they ride a skateboard. Parents should supervise their children at skate parks and choose parks that are away from busy streets and highways.
A properly fitted helmet should meet the standards of the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or Snell Memorial Foundation. Properly fitted helmets should:
- Be worn flat on your head with the bottom edge parallel to the ground
- Sit low on your forehead
- Have side straps that form a "V" shape around each ear
- Have a buckle that fastens tightly (there should be room to put only two fingers between the strap and your chin)
- Have pads inside that you install or remove so the helmet fits snuggly
- Not move in any direction when you shake your head
- Not interfere with your movement, vision or hearing
About the Expert
Joanna CohenEmergency Medicine Specialist
Joanna Cohen, MD, is an attending in the Emergency Department of Children's National Health System. Her primary research interest includes bedside ultrasonography in the ED.