Objective: To describe the estimated relative frequency, types of injuries, and demographic features of people injured while in-line skating, rollerskating, and skateboarding in the United States.
Design: Case series.
Setting: Emergency department visits to hospitals participating in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.
Participants: All persons treated for a product-related injury involving in-line skates, rollerskates, or a skateboard between July 1, 1992, and June 30, 1993.
Results: Approximately 30,863 persons (95% confidence interval, 23,073 to 38,653) were treated for in-line skating injuries during the study period. For every in-line skating injury, approximately 3.3 rollerskating and 1.2 skateboarding injuries occurred (P < .0001). The median age of those injured in these three sports was 15, 12, and 13 years, respectively (P < .0001). Sixty-three percent of injured in-line skaters had a musculoskeletal injury, including 37% with a wrist injury, of which two thirds were fractures and/or dislocations. Five percent of all injured in-line skaters had head injury and 3.5% of the injured in-line skaters required hospitalization.
Conclusions: In-line skating and skateboarding injuries resulted in a similar number of emergency department visits, but fewer than that for rollerskating injuries. Because wrist fractures were the most common type of injury in all three sports, wrist protection is needed. Head protection by helmets is recommended.