Skateboard injuries

Med J Aust. 1990 Aug 6;153(3):140, 143-4.


The recent increase in skateboard injuries is causing concern. Over a 30-month period there were 80 admissions (69 children) to Westmead Hospital because of skateboard injuries. Among children most injuries were minor, involving fractures to the upper limbs (47) or minor head injuries (8). The only serious injuries were a ruptured urethra and a closed head injury. Over the same time period skateboard riding caused five deaths in New South Wales. These all involved head injuries and in four instances collisions with cars. The data strongly support other studies that show skateboard riding is particularly dangerous near traffic and should be proscribed. However, in parkland and around the home the skateboard is an enjoyable toy with an acceptable risk of minor injury. Helmets should be worn and would have prevented all the head injury admissions in this series. Children under 10 have a higher risk of fractures and head injuries due to insufficient motor development to control the boards and the resultant falls. Skateboard injuries are an example of injuries caused by a "fad epidemic". To cope with these types of periodic events up-to-date data collection is needed, followed rapidly by an intervention programme so that serious injuries can be kept to a minimum.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arm Injuries / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • New South Wales / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protective Devices
  • Skating / injuries*