Background: The goal was to examine the patterns and trends of skateboarding-related injuries sustained by children and adolescents in the United States.
Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for children and adolescents 5-19 years of age treated in emergency departments for injuries associated with skateboards from 1990 through 2008.
Results: An estimated 1 226 868 children/adolescents (95 % CI: 948 733-1 505 003) were treated in emergency departments for skateboarding-related injuries from 1990 through 2008, an average of 64,572 cases per year. From 1990 through 1994, the annual rate of injuries per 10,000 children/adolescents significantly decreased overall and for males (overall: 72.9 %, P = 0.014; males: 73.9 %, P = 0.011; females: 63.6 %, P = 0.062). From 1994 to 2008, annual rates of injuries per 10,000 children/adolescents significantly increased overall and for both males and females (overall: 378.9 %, P < 0.001; males: 393.4 %, P < 0.001; females: 283.3 % P < 0.001). From 1990 to 1994 the annual rate of injuries per 10,000 children/adolescents significantly decreased for all age groups (5-10 years: 69.9 %, P = 0.043; 11-14 years: 80.6 %, P = 0.017; 15-19 years: 64.2 %, P = 0.024), and then significantly increased from 1994 to 2008 (5-10 years: 164.5 %, P < 0.001; 11-14 years: 587.0 %, P < 0.001; 15-19 years: 407.9 %, P < 0.001). Most patients were male (89.0 %), injured at home (37.3 %) or in the street and/or highway (29.3 %), and were not hospitalized (96.9 %). Patients 11-14 years of age constituted 44.9 % of cases. The most commonly injured body regions were the upper (44.1 %) and lower (31.7 %) extremities. Fractures and dislocations were the most common diagnoses (32.1 %). Children/adolescents 11-14 years of age were hospitalized more often than younger or older children/adolescents. Lower extremity injuries increased with age, while face and head or neck injuries decreased with age.
Conclusions: Skateboarding continues to be an important source of injury for children and adolescents. Further research, using more rigorous study designs, is required develop a broad perspective of the incidence and determinants of injury, and to further identify risk factors and viable injury countermeasures while simultaneously promoting participation in skateboarding.
Keywords: Adolescents; Children; Injury; National electronic injury surveillance system; Skateboarding.