Be Careful

By: | Friday, April 1, 2005 //

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Washington, D.C. 20207

Hotline:1-800-638-2772 (call them and say hi!)

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission, approximately 26,000 persons are treated
in hospital emergency rooms each year with skateboard
related injuries. Deaths due to collisions with cars
and from falls also are reported.

Several factors – lack of protective equipment, poor
board maintenance and irregular riding surfaces – are
involved in these accidents. Skateboard riding
requires good balance and body control, yet many young
skateboarders have not developed the necessary balance
and do not react quickly enough to prevent injury.

Who gets injured?

Six out of every 10 skateboard injuries are toe
children under 15 years of age.

Skateboarders who have been skating for less than a
week suffer one-third of the injuries; riders with a
year or more of experience have the next highest
number of injuries.

Injuries to first-time skateboarders are, for the most
part, due to falls. Experienced riders mainly suffer
injuries when they fall after their skateboards strike
rocks and other irregularities in the riding surface
or when they attempt difficult stunts.

Environmental Hazards

Irregular riding surfaces account for over half the
skateboarding injuries due to falls.

Before riding, skateboarders should screen the area
where they will be riding by checking for holes,
bumps, rocks and any debris. Areas set aside
especially for skateboarding generally have smoother
riding surfaces.

Skateboarding in the street can result in collisions
with cars causing serious injury and even death.

The Skateboard

There are boards with varying characteristics for
different types of riding (i.e., slalom, freestyle, or
speed). Some boards are rated as to the weight of the
intended user.

Before using their boards, riders should check them
for hazards, such as loose, broken, or cracked parts;
sharp edges on metal boards; slippery top surface; and
wheels with nicks and cracks.

Serious defects should be corrected by a qualified
repairman.

Protective Gear

Protective gear, such as closed, slip-resistant shoes,
helmets, and specially designed padding, may not fully
protect skateboarders from fractures, but its use is
recommended as such gear that can reduce the number
and severity of injuries.

Padded jackets and shorts are available, as well as
padding for hips, knees, elbows, wrist braces and
special skateboarding gloves. All of this protective
gear will help absorb the impact of a fall. With
protective gear, it is important to look for comfort,
design, and function. The gear should not interfere
with the skater’s movement, vision, or hearing.

The protective gear currently on the market is not
subject to Federal performance standards, and
therefore, careful selection is necessary. In a
helmet, for example, look for proper fit and a chin
strap; make sure the helmet does not block the rider’s
vision and hearing. Body padding should fit
comfortably. If padding is too tight, it could
restrict circulation and reduce the skater’s ability
to move freely. Lose-fitting padding, on the other
hand, could slop off or slide out of position.

Tips for Using a Skateboard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers the
following suggestions for safe skateboarding:

* Never ride in the street.

* Don’t take chances:

*Complicated tricks require careful practice and a
specially designed area

* Only one person per skateboard

* Never hitch a ride from a car, bus, truck, bicycle,
etc

* Learning how to fall incase of an accident may help
reduce your chances of being seriously injured.

* If you a losing your balance, crouch down on the
skateboard so that you will not have so far to fall.

* In a fall, try to land on the fleshy parts of your
body.

* If you fall, try to roll rather than absorb the
force with your arms.

* Even though I may be difficult, during a fall try to
relax your body, rather than stiffen.

* When hucking bio frontside flip, try to suck in your stomach (the fleshy parts) and remember..Sticking it first try is still the best way to aviod serious injuries!

Note. If you want to see the kid who ate it on the home page, get the Concussion video called “Damaged”. And if you haven’t already seen Artos part go get the flip video “Sorry” Now!

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