Skateboarding Safety (cont.)
Hawk said, "I wear helmets for protection after being knocked unconscious more than six times in my career. You never know what can happen, especially when you're starting out. I could have easily died without one."
Nick only rides his skateboard short distances now and wears a helmet. He's doing physical and speech therapy while he recuperates.
The American Academy of Pediatrics' guidelines for skateboarding recommend that kids under 10 shouldn't use skateboards without supervision and children under five should not use boards at all.
Protective gear, such as closed, slip-resistant shoes, helmets, and specially designed padding, may not fully protect skateboarder from fractures, but the National Safety Council recommends its use to reduce the number and severity of injuries. The Council gives these tips for safe skateboarding:
"The bottom line," says Dr. Mesiwala, "is that it's
great that people are going out and enjoying activities such as skateboarding.
They can have fun doing them but everyone needs to stop and take a moment to realize that professionals
do these sports every day and even they wear helmets. Anytime you're going to
participate in sports activities you need to do things that maximize your
ability to have fun again and again. With today's affordable and fashionable
helmets, there's no excuse for not taking 30 seconds to put one on."
Last Editorial Review: 1/7/2005