Objectives: To determine the frequency and patterns of use of the various types of protective equipment by in-line skaters and to determine if use of protective equipment was associated with the age, sex, group composition, or expertise of the skater.
Design: A total of 1548 in-line skaters were observed during a 3-month period in Milwaukee, Wis. Identification and protective equipment data were recorded and analyzed by chi 2 tests with Pearson's correlation coefficient.
Results: Overall, 491 skaters (31.7%) wore no protective gear. Wrist guards were worn by 999 skaters (64.5%). Helmets were worn by only 40 skaters (2.6%). Overall, adolescent males, children, and advanced skaters were the least likely to be observed wearing protective equipment.
Conclusions: Protective equipment is underused by many in-line skaters. Educating in-line skaters about the value of wearing protective equipment, as recommended by equipment manufacturers, may help reduce the severity or incidence of skating injuries.