Skateboarding is very popular among kids and teens. But skateboarding injuries do happen, particularly if kids skate in the wrong place or don't wear protective gear.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that:

  • Kids younger than 5 years should not skateboard.
  • Kids age 6–10 years old can skateboard, but only with an adult watching.

To keep it safe while skateboarding, kids should follow these rules and safety tips.

Safe Skateboarding Gear

Kids should choose the skateboard that's right for their style or activity (for example slalom, freestyle, and speed). Before heading out to skate, kids need:

  • a helmet that fits well. It should be a multi-sport helmet or one specifically meant for skateboarding. Do not let your child ride a skateboard without a helmet.
  • wrist guards to support the wrist during falls
  • knee pads and elbow pads
  • closed-toe shoes that have soles that don't slip
  • goggles or shatterproof glasses

Safe Places to Ride

To prevent injuries, it is very important that riders choose safe places to ride. All surfaces should be checked before riding on them. Kids should skateboard only on surfaces that are smooth without cracks or debris, like garbage or sticks.

Other safety rules:

  • Never ride in the street.
  • Never skateboard in wet weather.
  • When learning to ride, kids should try out skateboarding on a smooth driveway that's is away from all traffic, the beginner section of a skate park, or a parking lot that is not being used.
  • At skate parks, obey all rules. Stop and look before entering skateboarding areas.
  • Do not skateboard in crowded areas.
  • One person on a skateboard at a time.
  • Never hitch a ride from a bicycle, car, truck, bus, or other vehicle.
  • Do not wear headphones while skateboarding.

Safe Riding

Kids will fall while skateboarding. It's part of the sport. To stay safe, kids should use the safety gear listed above and learn how to fall properly. They should:

  • Practice falling on a soft surface or on grass.
  • Crouch down as they fall so they won't have as far to fall.
  • Land on the fleshy parts of their body and roll rather than breaking a fall with their arms and hands.
  • Relax while falling instead of going stiff.
  • Master basic tricks before moving on to more complicated moves.
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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.

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