Many children are keen to have a go at skateboarding, but the nature of the sport means that accidents can and do occur. If you’ve got a child that wants to try out skateboarding, then here are some useful tips on safety issues.
Successful skateboarding involves managing to balance, ride and often perform tricks on a moving board on wheels. Experienced skateboarders manage to make the art of skateboarding look easy, but it’s often far from it and can take considerable time and experience to reach that stage.
Common Skateboarding Injuries
It’s not surprising that injuries from skateboarding are common, not least during the time when children or teenagers are first getting used to the board. Some of the most common injuries include sprains, fractures, abrasions and broken bones (broken wrists and ankles). Head injuries and more serious injuries can also occur.
Statistics from the US suggest that a third of all skateboarding injuries occur among those who have less than one week’s experience of skateboarding.
Accidents can also occur for more experienced skateboarders, particularly as they try their hand at tricks and jumps – things they may love the idea of doing, until they fall or land awkwardly. In fact, two thirds of all skateboarding accidents were said to involve skateboarders with more than one year’s experience.
Sometimes accidents are simply the result of loss of balance, but they can also be caused by riding on rough surfaces, surfaces where there are sudden stones or sticks in the way, or from losing control of the board.
Some of the common skateboarding injuries can be prevented and minimised by wearing protective gear, such as helmets, arms pads and knee pads.
Learning How to Fall Safely
Learning how to fall may seem like a strange thing to teach your child, but when they’re skateboarding there are correct and incorrect ways of falling – and one can do more harm than good. Although falling can be a cause of serious injury, if you’re keyed up about how to fall in a safe way, then the risk of serious accidents can be reduced.
If a child is feeling like they’re losing their balance whilst skateboarding, it’s a good idea to encourage them to crouch down on the board. This means that if they do end up falling off, they won’t have quite so far too fall and hopefully the fall won’t be so bad.
Sometimes falls happen too quickly and you don’t get a chance to think about what’s happening. But if it’s a ‘slow motion’ and gradual fall, it’s better to try to roll as they fall, to relax their body and to try to land on the fleshy parts of their body.
To help children put these safe falling ideas into practice, it’s helpful to have a go at falling on a soft surface or on grass. At least then it also won’t come as such a shock to them or their body if they do ever fall off their skateboard.
Where to Skateboard
Although it might seem fun to try out skateboarding outside your home, in the road or on the path, for the best safety, it’s better to go to a properly run skateboarding park. Not only do they have plenty of room and space to try out skateboarding, but the surfaces are also specially designed for the skateboard and you’re less likely to suddenly hit a bumpy patch and go flying.
Skateboarding might not seem like the safest sport for a child to be interested in, but by encouraging practice of it in properly run areas, and wearing the right safety gear, parents can rest assured that their children should be safer than without these precautions.
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