Skateboarding injuries of today
- Section of Forensic Medicine, Department of Community Health and Rehabilitation, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
- Correspondence to: Dr Eriksson, Section of Forensic Medicine, University of Umeå, PO Box 7642, SE-907 12 Umeå, Sweden
- Accepted 26 June 2001
Background—Skateboarding injuries have increased with the rise in popularity of the sport, and the injury pattern can be expected to have changed with the development of both skateboard tricks and the materials used for skateboard construction.
Objective—To describe the injury pattern of today.
Methods—The pattern of injuries, circumstances, and severity were investigated in a study of all 139 people injured in skateboarding accidents during the period 1995–1998 inclusive and admitted to the University Hospital of Umeå. This is the only hospital in the area, serving a population of 135 000.
Results—Three of the 139 injured were pedestrians hit by a skateboard rider; the rest were riders. The age range was 7–47 years (mean 16). The severity of the injuries was minor (AIS 1) to moderate (AIS 2); fractures were classified as moderate. The annual number of injuries increased during the study period. Fractures were found in 29% of the casualties, and four children had concussion. The most common fractures were of the ankle and wrist. Older patients had less severe injuries, mainly sprains and soft tissue injuries. Most children were injured while skateboarding on ramps and at arenas; only 12 (9%) were injured while skateboarding on roads. Some 37% of the injuries occurred because of a loss of balance, and 26% because of a failed trick attempt. Falls caused by surface irregularities resulted in the highest proportion of the moderate injuries.
Conclusions—Skateboarding should be restricted to supervised skateboard parks, and skateboarders should be required to wear protective gear. These measures would reduce the number of skateboarders injured in motor vehicle collisions, reduce the personal injuries among skateboarders, and reduce the number of pedestrians injured in collisions with skateboarders.