Scooter, Skateboard and Inline Skates Safety

Wheeled sports include riding scooters, skateboarding, and inline skating. These can be fun and great exercise for your  athlete.  But these sports can also be dangerous. When done incorrectly, they can lead to injury and sometimes even death. This sheet gives tips for keeping your athlete safe.

Safety Tips for Inline Skates, Scooters, and Skateboards

  • Your athlete must wear safety gear—including a helmet—every time he or she rides. Make a firm rule that your athlete cannot ride without it.
  • Equipment should be kept in good shape. For instance, before each ride, your athlete should check the wheels, brakes, and other equipment. (If your athlete is young, check the equipment yourself.)
  • Be sure your athlete understands and obeys all traffic signs and signals.
  • As a rule,  athletesunder 10 years old should ride on the sidewalk, not on the road. Before allowing your athlete to ride on the road, make sure he or she has good riding skills and knows how to stay safe.
  • Your athlete should never wear headphones while riding. He or she needs to be able to hear oncoming traffic.
  • Allow your athlete to ride only during daylight (never at dusk or at night).

Inline Skating Safety

To keep him or her safe while inline skating, be sure your athlete:

  • Wears protective gear that fits properly. This includes a helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads.
  • Does not hold on to moving vehicles while inline skating.
  • Always skates at a speed in which they are in control.
  • Considers taking inline skating lessons when learning to skate. Also, make sure beginners skate only at an indoor or outdoor skating rink. (Helmets should be worn even at a skating rink.)
  • Uses skates of an appropriate type and fit for your athlete’s size and skill level.

Scooter Safety

Supervise  athletes riding scooters, especially kids under 8 years old. To keep him or her safe, be sure your athlete:

  • Wears protective gear that fits properly. This includes a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads. Wrist guards should be avoided because they can make it hard to grip the scooter’s handlebars.
  • Wears sturdy shoes when riding a scooter.
  • Rides only on smooth pavement. Dirt, sand, gravel, and wet pavement should be avoided.
  • Does not ride a scooter in traffic.
  • Does not allow passengers on the scooter. Scooters are designed to carry only one person.

Skateboard Safety

Only  athletes age 5 years and older should be allowed to skateboard. Be sure to supervise skateboarding  athletes especially those younger than 10 years old. To keep him or her safe, be sure your athlete:

  • Wears protective gear that fits properly. This includes a helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads.
  • Wears sturdy shoes when riding a skateboard.
  • Does not skateboard in traffic. Instead, bring the athlete to a skate park.
  • Does not hold on to moving vehicles while skateboarding.
  • Uses a skateboard with wide wheels and a short board (deck) when learning to skateboard.

Helmets for Wheeled Sports

A helmet can greatly decrease your athlete’s chance of a head and/or brain injury from a wheeled sport incident. Multi-sport helmets are best because they give extra protection to the back of the head. This is the part of the head most likely to be injured during wheeled sports. To keep your athlete safe, be sure to do the following:

  • Make sure the helmet is appropriate for the size and/or age of your athlete, and fits well. It should be level on top of the head, about two finger-widths above the eyebrows. It should not rock back and forth or side to side. The strap should be buckled and snug under the chin.
  • If you can, take the athlete to the store to try on the helmet before you buy it. This helps you find one that fits well. It's also helpful because an athlete who chooses his or her own helmet may be more likely to wear it. If you can’t bring your athlete to the store, measure his or her head before going to the store.
  • Make sure there is a CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) sticker on the helmet. This means the helmet meets the CPSC standard for safety.
  • Don’t use a helmet that has been in a crash. A damaged helmet may not protect the head. Discard it and buy a new one.
  • Set a good example—wear a helmet yourself!

The Sport Medicine clinic offers comprehensive care and treatment for children and adolescents with acute and chronic injuries. Call 832-22-SPORT (227-7678) for an appointment.