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Skateboarding Without A Helmet Can Lead To Serious Brain Injuries
This week an Austin teen lost his life in a tragic skateboarding accident. The 16-year-old boy was attempting to skate a steep concrete slope near a drainage area when he fell approximately 25 feet and sustained a fatal head injury. His parents had a message for other teens that skate: always wear a helmet.
Unfortunately, skateboarding injuries and skateboarding traumatic head injuries are common – and doctors say that they are only getting more frequent. In any given year, an estimated 50,000 people go to the emergency room with a skateboarding injury, and about half of those skateboarders go in for head trauma. In fact, 12,000 kids under 14 suffered brain injuries from skateboarding in 2007.
Why are the number and seriousness of skateboarding accidents growing? Safety advocates believe that skateboard technology is improving, allowing riders to go faster and try more advanced tricks, perhaps before they are skilled enough to complete them. At the same time, the sport (and the means of transportation) is only gaining in popularity.
However, even though the popularity of skateboarding grows, skateboarding safety regulations are lagging behind. While it’s a law to wear a helmet when riding a bike, kids aren’t required to wear a helmet while skateboarding. At the same time, skateboarding while wearing a helmet is not considered “cool” while wearing a helmet while biking is more acceptable.
How can you help prevent skateboarding accidents? The easiest way is to make certain to wear a helmet while skateboarding and require your kids to wear helmets, too. While helmets can’t protect against all injuries, or even against all head injuries, they significantly decrease your chance of serious injury. Secondly, be sure not to try a trick that is out of your skill level. While skateboards are enjoyable because of their range of tricks and stunts, it is vital that you learn slowly and don’t take risks that could lead to injury.